It’s amazing what a nice set of clothes can do for the self-image of someone who has been beaten down by life. We have a young man who has been part of our youth program in Juarez since he was a little boy. His father is not a part of his life, and he has had a rough upbringing. His family struggles to make ends meet.
As he entered his teenage years, he grew into a tall young man, but he struggled with his self-image. When we received a donation from a businessman of suits and button-down shirts, all of good quality, we realized they were the perfect size for this young man. He came in and tried them on and was delighted.
As he started wearing selections from his new wardrobe, you could see his self-esteem improve. He stood up straighter, smiled more, and seemed more comfortable in his own skin. One of the volunteers said, “He is recuperating his dignity as a young man.”
The youth we work with in these troubled areas of Juarez have so much to contend with – daily violence, the lure of drugs and gangs, extreme poverty, limited educational and career opportunities, and broken families to name a few. It is rewarding to us when we can find ways to bring joy and hope into their lives – even with as simple a thing as a wardrobe upgrade.