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Donate old jewelry for gem of a cause

Going with Stephens of Sondra's seemed to be the obvious choice too, said Morrill.

"She does a lot in the community for different organizations, so naturally we went with her," she said. "She has done [similar fundraisers] in the past with great success, so we thought we would try it."

This event is just one way the Soroptimist of Schenectady is reaching out to help women in the community.

"Our mission is to help women and girls and we help people throughout the community all the time," said Morrill. "We do a lot of different things this is a new one we are doing this year after we discovered there was a need at the YWCA."

Replacing the mattresses is an ongoing need for the YWCA, said JoAnne Rafalik, development communications director for the Schenectady YWCA, because of the about 90 beds they have about a third of them need to be replaced in a year. In addition to the on site housing the YWCA also rents 16 apartments in the community to house women. When purchasing a new bed the cost ranges from $300 to $400 for a new mattress.

The need for housing has been so strong in the community that the YWCA even has a waiting list just to receive housing.

"Our occupancy has been just about 100 percent for about the last three years now," said Rafalik.

If you don't have any unwanted jewelry, donations of new pillows and blankets are also being accepted at the event, which Rafalik said is another ongoing expense. She estimated that the YWCA goes through 100 to 150 pillows and about 200 blankets in a year.

"Everybody likes a new pillow to sleep on," said Rafalik. "That is something that we go through a tremendous supply, because we house so many people here. When a lot of the women leave to go to their own apartments, a lot of times they take their linens with them."

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