Jessica Zaganczyk’s 15 FOR 15 Warms New York City

15 FOR 15 was founded by Jessica Zaganczyk, Events Specialist at Bulgari (and model in Quest‘s May 2010 issue!). From the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to New York City, Jessica has always enjoyed being actively involved in the community. 15 FOR 15, her most recent venture, supports children in the area by providing them with winter wear. For more information, visit www.savethenycclothingbank.com.

Quest interviews Jessica about her cause …

Quest: Where did 15 FOR 15 come from?

Jessica Zaganczyk: I am trying to save a charity from having its doors shut forever. It provides brand new clothes to underprivileged children and the less fortunate in NYC.

It’s a simple charity, with a simple group of volunteers who try to help young kids and the underprivileged gain some dignity. They have big hearts over there and I didn’t want their doors to close without a fight.

I decided to come up with an idea for an emergency e-fundraising campaign for them, and it is called 15 FOR 15. I worked really hard on a Web site for them and if you visit and donate the $15, you can help save this charity.

I’ve never done anything like this before and I know it is a lofty and ambitious goal, but as someone once told me “opportunity favors the bold” … Thanks for any help you can give and Merry Christmas!

Quest: What is 15 FOR 15?

J.Z.: 15 FOR 15 is an Emergency Fundraising Campaign whose mission is simple: to raise $15,000 in 15 days, to help save the New York City Clothing Bank from being forced to shut down, and to try and do so, $15 at a time.

Quest: Why $15?

J.Z.: The New York City Clothing Bank (NYCCB) is the only organization in NYC that provides brand new coats to those in need and, for only $15, the NYCCB can purchase a brand new coat for a child. In the fast paced world of New York City, $15 doesn’t always represent a lot — perhaps lunch at a deli, two cocktails at Happy Hour, or a cab ride from the Upper East Side to Tribeca — but for some of New York City’s neediest and most deserving young children, $15 can mean hope, self-esteem, pride, and a new beginning. Sometimes all it takes is something as simple as a new coat to help children find a renewed sense of spirit, a stronger sense of ownership for their own life, pride in their own decisions, their future, and the direction they choose to go in.

Quest: Why now?

J.Z.: Because of a lack of government funding and a steep decline in monetary donations and clothing donations, NYCCB is facing extinction. If they do not raise enough capital before 2010 ends, they will be forced to shut their doors forever in March.

Quest: What can everyone do to help?

J.Z.: With just one $15 donation, you can keep a child warm this holiday season and help keep an iconic philanthropic institution alive. 15 FOR 15 will begin Friday, December 17, and will end on Friday, December 31. For these 15 days, supporters will be challenged to help us meet this goal of $15,000 by donating $15.

We have 10 days left and are still very short of our goal. Please spread the word.