By Sophie Pomeranz, IJN intern
In 2001, Elly and Lola Zussman founded Keshet of the Rockies as a program inside of Hillel Academy that would support the learning needs of disabled children who attended that school. Over the years, Keshet of the Rockies has grown into an educational presence in five Jewish day schools in the community.
But education wasn’t enough for Lola Zussman — she wanted to take the next step to what comes after education — working.
About a year ago Keshet of the Rockies established a thrift store, called Sandy’s Closet, now with two employees: Miriam Lawrence and Shauna Jacobson. The store is a nonprofit 501c3.
The store sells nearly new clothing for men, women and children, has vintage clothing as well, shoes, accessories and even a little Judaica in the back.
It is very well organized to show the different types of clothing.
The purpose of the store is to employ people with special needs so that after their education, they can join the workforce to a degree, and “to not become couch potatoes — to sit and do nothing. Here they feel useful,” says Zussman.
Sandy’s Closet allows for people with all different types of disabilities to experience what a workday is. They can help with the sorting that goes on in the back room, greeting at the front door, or help with janitorial-like work throughout the space.
Sandy’s Closet is always looking for volunteers at the store as the sorting is a longer and more complicated process than one might think.
Volunteers range from age 14 to 60. About three to four volunteers come in every week. They’ve been directed to Sandy’s Closet by NCSY, Hillel Academy, DAT and JFS, as well as individuals.
Sandy’s Closet is at 4990 Leetsdale Drive. Hours are Monday through Friday, and Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Copyright © 2019 by the Intermountain Jewish News