Not even the snow-globe-y nor’easter roaring outside could put a damper on the philanthropic shopping raging inside the Altman Building in Chelsea for the Housing Works Fashion for Action opening benefit two nights ago. The non-profit organization raises funds for homeless and low-income New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS through this annual blowout designer shopping event featuring brand spankin’ new (and majorly discounted) items donated from the likes Black Fleece, Marc Jacobs, Diane Von Furstenberg, Theory and Band of Outsiders. “Look, in the middle of a snowstorm—all these designers, everybody—this organization got all of this stuff here tonight. People turn out for Housing Works,” exclaimed Oscar nominated actress and Housing Works chair Patricia Clarkson. “It says it all." In a timely move, Housing Works is changing things up a bit this year and will donate 20% of all proceeds to benefit Hurricane Sandy victims in the Far Rockaways and Staten Island. Fashion For Action co-chair, stylist and model casting extraordinaire Natalie Joos only lost her satellite dish in the disaster, but she’s out there walking the walk when it comes to helping Sandy victims. “If I can toot my own horn, I was out there. I went to the Rockaways yesterday,” she said. “We wanted to really get our hands dirty and start cleaning or something like go on the streets and help people in the houses, but that was pretty much done. And you really couldn’t do anything anymore unless you had a bulldozer. It was like huge big piles, or unless you’re in the army. So we were sent to work at the donation center, where we helped distribute necessities to those in need."
As to her first hand suggestion as to what to donate to the cause? “Toilet paper, paper towels, detergent, cleaning products, batteries and flashlights,” Joos detailed. Taking notes? Well, how about this do-good/feel-good itinerary? Take some time out to volunteer like Natalie did and then reward yourself—all while benefitting two good causes—by dropping by the Chelsea Housing Works outpost from November 8 through November 11 to shop the Fashion For Action public sale. Housing Works Chelsea Thrift Shop 143 W. 17th St (between 6th and 7th Aves)