“The Empty Shop”, the only store with empty shelves and hangers, is available for the second time to the customers of Promenada Mall. The campaign, which was initiated by Promenada Mall in Partnership with Unilever (OMO, Coccolino) and the Romanian Red Cross, takes place from April 24 to May 19, aiming at helping people in need by donating clothes. Last year, “The Empty Shop” recorded the performance of the largest clothing collection in Romania, with 73 tons of clothing articles donated in two weeks. 6,700 families from 12 counties benefited from them. The clothes reached 28,000 people in poor areas in which there is a risk of dropping out of school, thanks to more than 10,000 donors all over the country, according to a press release issued by the company.
The main goal is to support families in poor areas and contribute in reducing the school dropout and social exclusion by donating clothes to needy communities in the country. Romania is among the countries with the highest rates of poverty in Europe, more than 35.7% of Romanians being affected by this scourge (according to Eurostat data). At the same time, Romania also has the highest level of poor children on the continent, the percentage being directly related to a worrying school dropout rate, namely 18%. Through this project, Promenada wishes to demonstrate, for the second time, that a shopping center can make community get involved, bringing a real positive impact in people’s lives.
“’The Empty Shop’ is not about numbers, but about solidarity, altruism and humanity. Three qualities we discovered last year at our visitors, which made the only store with empty shelves in Romania reopen. This space will be open to all those who wish to donate clothes and make a good deed until May 19. All of us are used to go in malls for shopping. How about making people go to mall to donate? We want to inspire people adopt new habits, by coming up with a simple method to contribute for the community. When you come to Promenada for shopping, we give you the perfect opportunity to make a good deed. Therefore, Promenada launches the challenge to fill the shelves of an empty store, for the second time”, says Ana Maria Leca, General Manager of Promenada Mall.
The lack of clothes is one of the reasons that prevent children in poor communities from going to school. Promenada, along with the partners of the project, wishes to collect, this year also, at least as many clothes as in the first edition, which will be redirected to children and their families. The partner of the campaign, Unilever, will take care of washing, refreshing and sanitizing the clothes with OMO and Coccolino, while the Romanian Red Cross will ensure the connection with the beneficiaries. The organization will identify and select the families in the poor areas and will deliver the clothes to the beneficiaries. Depending on the quantity of the collected clothes, the number of the targeted counties can be extended.