As most of you know by now, STRIP2Clothe is a national campaign created by Virgin Mobile USA to raise awareness and resources for homeless and street involved youth. STRIP2Clothe features a website where volunteers can send their own videos in which the subject is involved in taking off any item of clothing—thus the title STRIP2Cltohe. For each video received, an article of new clothing is added to the inventory of free clothing made available for distribution. For every five views a video receives, another item of clothing is donated.
NN4Y agreed to work closely with Virgin Mobile– who has been a great supporter of homeless youth issues– and our members to receive feedback on the program and assess everyone’s comfort level before a full launch of the site. When we first considered this as a partnership with Virgin Mobile, we knew this campaign would get attention. Our hope was that the issue of youth homeless- reaching nearly 1 million in this country—would be the beneficiary of this attention.
We have now completed this phase and while the voices of dissent have been quite loud, most of our feedback from members has been positive. In fact, we have had many calls from members asking how they can order the clothing generated through this campaign. However, we realize we are an organization which represents hundreds of other voices. And to respect all the voices we heard—even those which were unkind—our board has decided that National Network for Youth will not officially partner with Virgin Mobile’s STRIP2Clothe campaign. As a key organization of Virgin Mobile’s, we applaud their efforts to raise awareness of youth homelessness and we offer our members the opportunity to receive the clothes if they so wish.
As we understand, Virgin Mobile is going forward with this campaign. We recognize there are organizations that are emotional about this — we respect their position and they certainly have the option to not receive any of the clothing that results from this drive. Those that wish to be a part of raising awareness and receiving clothes should also have that option, and can work directly with Virgin Mobile to do so.
We also invite those who expressed their concern over homeless youth in the past few days to be more involved by donating money or new, unused clothes to the cause either through NN4Y or a local charity serving homeless youth. We are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of those who seem to be interested in ending youth homelessness and hope to turn that into action towards the cause.