Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal
Rabbi Amy Weiss knows that, when it comes to children and poverty, there’s a huge gap to fill.
It’s the main reason Weiss started the nonprofit Undies for Everyone (UFE), which exclusively addresses underwear security by providing underwear to more than 150,000 underserved children across the country.
The nonprofit, which is based in Texas, made Albuquerque one of its 17 cities across the country where it has a hand in making the impact.
Weiss works with the Children, Youth and Families Department – Children’s Wellness Center, as well as Albuquerque Public Schools’ McKinney-Vento Homeless program.
“We’ve been serving Albuquerque since 2021,” Weiss said. “There’s a huge need everywhere. The poverty level is ridiculous and, when we were looking for new cities to work with, we thought Albuquerque would be a good place to help out. We’re giving (to) 8,440 kids and they each get seven pairs of underwear. That’s a total of 59,080.”
Weiss was honored recently as a CNN Hero for the work she’s been doing for 10 years with the nonprofit.
Since its launch in 2012, UFE has provided over 2 million pairs of underwear to students living in poverty or crisis across 17 cities in the U.S.
“I started Undies for Everyone after realizing how many children in my community did not have access to new underwear, it’s as simple as that,” Weiss said. “Ten years later, through the vision of my incredible board and leadership team, Undies for Everyone now serves communities throughout the country, helping kids stay in school and reach their potential.”
Weiss said underwear is a rarely provided supply for students experiencing crisis or living in poverty – it’s one of the most requested, but least often purchased.
With the help of partners, volunteers and donors, UFE helps alleviate the burden of underwear insecurity for children by providing a week’s worth of undies.
It remains the nation’s only nonprofit to exclusively provide new underwear to students around the country.
UFE has 47 partners across the U.S. distributing underwear to kids in crisis, including Boys and Girls Clubs, school district homeless departments, Child Protective Services and pediatric mobile clinics. The organization is distributing 1.1 million pairs of undies this year – impacting more than 157,000 children.
“When you step back and take a look at it all, the need has always been there,” she says. “This is one way that we’re able to help. As we expand, we see more and more children that are in need. Being in Albuquerque, we’ve helped make an impact and there’s so much further to go.”
The Journal continues “The Good News File,” a series of uplifting stories in partnership with KOAT-TV and KKOB Radio. The Journal will publish a “Good News” feature the first Friday of the month, KOAT-TV will present its feature each second Friday and KKOB each third Friday.