CHICAGO — It’s 8 a.m., the bins and racks at the WINGS resale shop are already overflowing, and resale manager Colleen Dellarosa suspects Marie Kondo has something to do with it.
“We hear it all the time now,” Dellarosa said. “Tons of donations from people saying they are downsizing and cleaning out.”
Since the release of Kondo’s book and subsequent Netflix series about the art of tidying up, sales at WINGS resale shops have soared 40 percent. As a result, the rise in downsizing is also inadvertently benefiting hundreds of domestic violence victims.
WINGS receives no government funding, but rather relies entirely on resale store sales to fund the transitional housing and support they provide to families impacted by domestic violence.
“It is hands-down our biggest source of funding,” WINGS CEO Rebecca Darr said. “This is how we are able to provide the counseling, food, clothing and housing they need to truly get back on their feet.”
The WINGS resale shops in Niles, Arlington Heights and Schaumburg fund 55 apartments, two safe houses and three shared homes, in addition to providing clothing to the families they support.
One graduate of WINGS’ two-year transitional program says she’s not that familiar with Marie Kondo’s book, but does feel the ripple effect of the donations that have allowed women like her to take flight.
“I feel like the reach is far and wide but the impact is infinite,” she said.
Even after people more on to the next self-help craze, the people behind WINGS hope they continue to learn about and support their cause.