Before, at and after NNEP events like Embroidery Mart, we often hear, “Just exactly what IS DoDuds?” So here is the answer to that often asked question.
How DoDuds came to be:
At risk women and their families seek safety and security in times of crisis. These families arrive at shelters often with only what is on their backs. They may have babies in arms, toddlers in tow and even high schoolers – they all arrive seeking safety. These facilities are often called battered women’s shelters or domestic violence shelters. We were introduced to this system when someone we knew needed to hide from a freakishly controlling husband that had gone overboard, combining alcohol and weapons as he tried to find his wife and kids. They were at a ball game for one of the kids, which he had forgotten about! After the game, she discovered that it was unsafe for her and the kids to go home and she showed up on our back porch, saying, “What do I do now???” We had a friend on the police force, so we called him and he became the bridge to the local women’s shelter for this lady and her children.
DoDuds is one way to support these women and their children. As apparel decorators, we often have new apparel and products that we can no longer use. These women’s facilities serve families that frequently arrive with minimal or no extra clothing. It occurred to us here at NNEP that we were in a unique position to help our industry put this excess supply of “unusables and extras” to use in a way that would have massive impact.
As an embroiderer or apparel decorator, you can participate in the DoDuds program by packing up and shipping your discontinued samples, mis-ordered or mis-shipped garments, your mess-ups and embroidery overruns to DoDuds. They can be blank or they can be decorated. All of these garments meet the clothing needs of these desperate families. We hear over and over that these donated items are the only NEW clothing that the shelters receive for their families.
DoDuds items are collected at both of the Embroidery Mart trade shows hosted by NNEP, Embroidery Mart-COLUMBUS IN Columbus, OH in the Spring, and Embroidery Mart-NASHVILLE in Nashville, TN in the summer. You can also ship your donations to DoDuds/NNEP at 4693 Kent Road, Kent Ohio 44240 at any time throughout the year.
All the clothing is sorted and then repacked to ensure there is a variety of garments in each box and that the items are appropriate for the climate to which that box is being sent. DoDuds donations are sent to shelters as far west as Wyoming, south to Mississippi and north to NewYork and to all the states in between.
If you have information about a facility, please email us or call NNEP at 330-678-4887 with the contact person’s name and information. We are always looking for more facilities to support with these donations.
The DoDuds program is managed by the Embroidery Network Foundation (ENF), which is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization in the state of Ohio which was established in 2002. Donations to the DoDuds program are recognized with a letter of acknowledgement and a receipt whenever possible. The time to manage the program, including sorting and packing of all the collected apparel, is donated by the NNEP staff. One hundred percent of the cash donations received for the DoDuds program are used to cover the shipping costs to get the goods to the facilities.
To date, over 7,000 pounds of new apparel has been distributed to shelters and into the hands of people with great need and (often) minimal resources. THANK YOU to everyone that has donated so far, your apparel has gone into the hands that greatly appreciate your contributions!!!