Council Member Mercedes Narcisse on Sunday hosted a free clothing giveaway for her constituents. The giveaway, dubbed “Chic Boutique 46,” served as an offering to southern Brooklyn residents of the 46th District, which is also home to the Floyd Bennett Field migrant shelter.
Narcisse told Brooklyn Paper she was inspired to host the giveaway at the end of last year when she noticed some of her constituents were without adequate winter clothing.
“Folks were going to school without a proper coat, children didn’t have proper clothes, there were people in the community walking around without good clothing or shoes,” Narcisse said on Feb. 9, ahead of the Feb. 10 event. “So I was taking notice of that and I said ‘why don’t I do a day in the office so we can help others?”
This weekend’s installment of “Chic Boutique 46” served more than 100 residents living in Bergen Beach, Canarsie, Flatlands, Georgetown, Gerritsen Beach, Marine Park, Mill Basin, Mill Island and Sheepshead Bay.
Held at her Flatlands Avenue district office, Narcisse and her staff transformed the space into a stylish boutique-inspired mock storefront which allowed residents to browse the available clothing in a dignified environment.
Community members at the event were able to try on clothes they were interested in and really take their time.
“I am so proud of the success of our Chic Boutique. It truly warms my heart to see our community come together to help those in need, and most importantly being done so in a manner to make these folks feel like they just stepped into a high-end store, eliminating any stigma attached with coming out,” said Narcisse. “Given the turnout, I am inspired to continue our efforts to help ensure that all residents of District 46 are properly clothed and cared for.”
At Sunday’s event, more than 60 coats — many of which were brand new — were distributed to residents, as well as dozens of sweaters, shirts, pants, shoes and other accessories. Along with clothing, each attending child received a surprise new toy as a gift.
Members of Narcisse’s staff along with volunteers and student interns from neighboring schools all worked to ensure that the experience was as enjoyable and useful as possible, especially for migrants in the community — including the nearly 2,000 asylum-seekers currently staying at Floyd Bennett Field.
“I want them to feel like they have support until they get on their feet or whatever they decide to do,” Narcisse said. “But while they are with us, we’re doing our very best and I’ve been excited about that. They know that if they need help they can come to district 46 [office] and whatever we can do, we do for them.”
The event also served as an opportunity for Narcisse to let her constituents know that there are many other services her office can provide for them.
“We’re there to answer your questions,” said Narcisse. “If something needs to be followed up since it’s a busy day, we’ll get you a follow up appointment, or because as a matter of practice you can just walk in our office. For the lawyers you need an appointment to come to the office to take care of any business with the city of New York or even the state. We are open to you.”
To learn more about “Chic Boutique 46” or for opportunities to volunteer, visit Council Member Mercedes Narcisse’s Facebook page here.