Do you ever wonder what happens to the clothes a runner sheds before he or she begins a race? Often times, the clothes will be collected and disposed of. Wasted. However, whenever Clothes-Pin is at a race, those clothes get to people in need.
Clothes-Pin is a non-profit organization that was started right here in Philadelphia by a father-daughter partnership, Michael and Madeline Resnic.
“My daughter and I were at a marathon in 2007 and noticed thousands of pieces of clothing being discarded,” Resnic said at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon this past Sunday, where they had a tent set up at 22nd Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
From that particular race in 2007, they decided they were going to do something about it. At that race they went on to collect 50 pieces of clothing and donated them to a local clothing bank.
The following year, the father-daughter duo recruited volunteers to help them expand their vision. With a little organization of their new work force, they went on to collect thousands of pieces of clothing at various races.
At the half marathon on Sunday, Clothes-Pin went on to collect an estimated 5,000 pieces of clothing from the 40,000 people who competed. All the clothing was donated to the mens shelter of the Bestheda Project, located on Ninth and Hamilton streets.
A majority of their volunteers are young high school students who want to help out their community and those in need.
“People are now reaching out to us and want to volunteer directly with us,” Resnic explained. “We partnered with a volunteer organization called Build On… they work with high school students and give them volunteer opportunities. “
On Sunday, they had over 50 high school students from the surrounding Philadelphia area including students from Lower Merion High School and Masterman High School.
“Michael and Maddie, his daughter, are the masterminds behind it all,” said Jennifer Curry, a volunteer for Clothes-Pin. “Their passion puts all of this together.”
In the mere four-year existence of the organization, they managed to expand to several other cities including Baltimore, Lancaster and more. The farthest they’ve gone, so far, was down to Washington, D.C, where they set up a tent and collected thousands of articles of clothing at The Sun Trust National Marathon in 2010.
Their aspirations don’t stop on the east coast as Resnic and his daughter hope to expand Clothes-Pin to someday become a national organization. When that happens, they want to make sure people know they are from Philadelphia. The organization’s name stems from the large clothespin statue located at 15th and Market streets.
“As we expand out and go to other cities, we want people to know we started here in Philadelphia,” Resnic said. “The play on the clothespin is the PIN stands for ‘people in need’ and when we go to other race locations, hopefully they’ll hear the story and know that we’re from Philadelphia.”
For information on how to get involved, visit www.clothes-pin.org.