STERLING, Va. — On any given month, between 700 and 1,000 women come through the doors of Women Giving Back in Sterling, Virginia, founders say. The nonprofit is on a mission to support women and children in crisis and provide them a first step toward stability, by providing quality clothing at no cost, assisted by a caring and committed community.
But currently, the need is even greater.
"Having a winter coat shouldn't be a question for anyone" said Erica Parraga from Women Giving Back.
In October, more than 1,000 women stopped in the Virginia nonprofit. All of the women and children who they provide clothing to, free of cost, are referred by different agencies. Parraga said many of them are escaping domestic violence or human trafficking situations.
Most recently, they've seen an increase of women from Afghanistan and other refugees, on top of their usual need. Women Giving Back is specifically looking for people to donate winter coats and hijabs.
"We always talk about dignity," Parraga said. "We want women to come in here and feel good about themselves. They may not be coming from good situations, but we want them to come in here and know that they are treated like everybody else and they can leave here looking like everybody else and having confidence to keep their head high and go through whatever they need to get through."
Maleeha Darab said that the women seem uplifted after they leave.
"Being able to go in to a store pick out your own clothes and have your own shopping experience, it's very inspiring," Darab said. "You can definitely see they're uplifted."