Lexie's Gift: Clothing For Those In Transition

Jul 29, 2019

In Reno, countless adults and children are in transition. They may be homeless, in the foster care system, or recovering from substance abuse. A local, nonprofit organization called Lexie’s Gift is helping those in transition by providing clothing for free. Kylee Warden of Reno Youth Radio visited the shop and has this story.

Lexie’s Gift is tucked away in a nondescript building among many others in the industrial zone of South Reno. Two years ago, Barbara Marcoe lost her daughter, Lexie Valverde, in a car accident. In her memory, Marcoe created Lexie’s Gift, which aims to serve those in need of clothing. 

“We established Lexie’s Gift in memory of her because she was always out and about doing nice things for the community by volunteering,” says Marcoe.

This nonprofit has already served hundreds of people of all ages in the community, people like Tyler Valdovinos and his friends. Their group was shopping at a pop-up event that Lexie’s Gift participated in at Our Center in Reno, which serves the local LGBTQ community.

Valdovinos picks out a pair of comfy flip-flops to take home and talks about how as a college student it is a miracle to him that organizations like these exist.

“I really didn’t come in with anything particular in mind, except for something cute and [something that] would definitely work, and I definitely got what I was looking for and more,” Valdovinos mentions.

Lexie’s Gift founder Barbara Marcoe says that clothing is an important factor in building self-esteem but can also be a difficult thing to come by for those in transition.

Marcoe (left) helping a customer pick out clothing.
Credit Kylee Warden

“One of our most proud moments is what we do to help kids be able to feel like they still fit in,” Marcoe says.

As a counselor at the Academy of Arts, Careers, and Technology, Stacy Erickson is someone who often sees the hardships that transitioning children face.

She says she refers a lot of kids to Lexie’s Gift, especially considering the rising costs of housing in the community. She also adds how Lexie’s Gift helps low-income families that may not be able to fit events like prom in the budget.

“Lexie’s Gift is a really great way for kids to be able to go and we’ve had an increase in the kids who are needing the help.” Erickson adds, “[It] allows them the opportunity to feel important and to fit in with the rest of their classmates.”

Marcoe mentions how she wants to help end the stigma behind second-hand clothing.

“I want people to know that it’s okay to donate something that makes someone else feel good about themselves, and it’s okay to put something on that someone has given you and feel like it's a gift, rather than a handout.”

Donation truck used by Lexie's Gift
Credit Kylee Warden

Marcoe says she is committed to providing a dignified shopping experience for locals in need because her daughter Lexie always insisted people feel good about themselves and what they are wearing.