Our Sisters’ Closet Needs Your Help


shopping bags

Christmas seems like just yesterday, which means there are probably plenty of left over shopping and gift bags! Our Sister’s Closet is in desperate need of all and any bags you may have!

Our numbers have dwindled incredibly low. If you personally don’t have any, could you please ask a friend or relative.

We would appreciate the support so we can continue to help women tote out their newest belongings! Thanks so much everyone!

Our Sister’s Closet

More than 1,200 women helped each yearOur Sister’s Closet is Spokane’s only free clothing boutique for women who are in need of professional clothing and reaches more than 1,200 women each year. Through one-on-one appointments, women shop for clothes that help them look and feel their best, whether they are going to work, school, court or looking for employment.
Our Sister’s Closet believes that every woman is beautiful, capable and resourceful. We serve women from many walks of life that are in transition. Each 90-minute appointment is focused on outfitting a woman with the appropriate clothing to achieve her goals and boosting her confidence. On average women receive between 3 to 5 outfits. They also receive shoes, makeup, accessories and personal hygiene products. We believe clothing has the ability to connect  the amazing and powerful woman within to an outer image that expresses her inner skills, talents and personality. We are here to educate, outfit and empower!

For more information contact:

Chris Chandler
AmeriCorps VISTA
Women’s Opportunity Center Volunteer Coordinator
YWCA of Spokane
930 N Monroe St • Spokane, WA 99201
Phone: 509-789-9299  • Main: 509-326-1190 • Fax: 509-326-1597
ChrisC@ywcaspokane.org •  www.ywcaspokane.org


Important Information from the CDC.GOV Website Regarding the 2014-2015 FLU Season

Flu activity is high across most of the country with flu illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths elevated. Flu season will probably continue for several weeks.

While the flu vaccine is not working as well as usual against some H3N2 viruses, vaccination can still protect some people and reduce hospitalizations and deaths, and will protect against other flu viruses.

Influenza antiviral drugs can treat flu illness. CDC recommends these drugs be used to treat people who are very sick or who are at high risk of serious flu complications who have flu symptoms. Early antiviral treatment works best.

Signs and symptoms of flu

People who have the flu often feel some or all of these signs and symptoms:

  • Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (very tired)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

How flu spreads

Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes or possibly their nose.

Period of contagiousness

You may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Some people, especially young children and people with weakened immune systems, might be able to infect others for an even longer time.

How serious is the flu?

Flu is unpredictable and how severe it is can vary widely from one season to the next depending on many things. Certain people are at greater risk for serious complications if they get the flu. This includes older people, young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease)

Preventing the Flu: Good Health Habits Can Help Stop Germs

The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, but good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu. There also are flu antiviral drugs that can be used to treat and prevent the flu.

  1. Avoid close contact.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

  1. Stay home when you are sick.

Stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.

  1. Cover your mouth and nose.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.

  1. Clean your hands.

Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

  1. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

  1. Practice other good health habits.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

Holidays stress out low-income parents, but poverty is year-round

U-M researchers say that while the holidays tend to be more stressful for low-income parents as children ask for expensive toys, people who donate to charities need to recognize that poverty is not seasonal.

“We generally think of the holidays as a time for giving and make our donations out of empathy,” says Michael S. Spencer, an assistant professor in the School of Social Work. “For many working families in poverty, the feeling of not being able to adequately provide for their children is year-long.”

Long-term poverty can affect a child’s developmental outcome, such as emotional and behavioral problems, and academic success, he says.

“If we can take the focus off of expensive gifts at this time of year and reflect year-round about the circumstances that create and sustain poverty, we’ll be able to help many people in a meaningful way,” Spencer says.

During the last five years, Carol T. Mowbray, a professor in the School of Social Work, has conducted a National Institute of Mental Health-funded study of southeast Michigan mothers with serious mental illnesses. Nearly all were very pooroften due to the expenses and disability associated with their mental illnessesand found it difficult to meet their children’s needs.

In a random sample of 35 women diagnosed with depression, they were asked: “What would you say are the disadvantages of having children and being a mother?” More than 25 percent talked about their inability to buy things their children wanted. Some of the responses:

“Not having enough money to keep them dressed well…this winter, my daughter had to use my gloves and my hat.”

“Expenses. As they get older, the things they want are more expensive. I don’t want to let them down. I don’t want them to feel like they never got what they want.”

“Sometimes you can’t give them what they want; you always want your kids to have the best.”

While the need is year-round, donating during the holidays is a good start. Indeed, giving to others can be a positive experience for families that have the means to do so, Mowbray says.

“Children see their parents as role models and, from their actions, can become more empathic and understanding to others, and more prone to charitable giving when they become adults,” Mowbray says.

The University Record Online (University of Michigan)