25-year-old Brian Lieberman is making a difference, one scarf at a time.
By Nina Cordes
Brian Lieberman, 25, founded Twice As Warm in August 2010 off of an old ping-pong table in his parent’s basement in Rockville, Md. with a goal of donating 50 hats, 50 pairs of gloves and 50 scarves to people in need in the greater Washington area through a “buy one, give one” model. For every hat, scarf, pair of gloves or shirt purchased off of his website, Twice As Warm donates an identical, new item of clothing to a person in need. He has far surpassed his original goal, with 420 items of warm winter clothing donated so far, distributed through organized “Giving Events,” local emergency shelters and public schools, as well as through fellow groups such as Miriam’s Kitchen, Sunday Suppers and Interfaith Works. Lieberman, now operating out of his apartment in Washington, D.C., has set his sights on spreading Twice As Warm nationwide, aiming to reach out to as many communities as he can.
Why did you start this organization?
I started Twice As Warm as a small project to help people in need in my hometown. While volunteering and donating clothing to a nearby shelter, I noticed that some of the donated clothing had holes in them and could no longer be worn. I wanted to create a sustainable way to provide new clothing to people in need; clothing that keeps them warm and that they can be proud to wear.
What is your greatest achievement so far?
I’m proud that what was once just an idea for a project has started to gain some traction. I was happy enough to just help a few people in need, but to make a larger impact is really exciting.
What’s your greatest challenge?
My greatest challenge right now is reaching communities beyond the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area. I’d like to start getting more people involved and spread the impact across the country, since this has been primarily a one-man operation (with help from friends, family and interns).
What comes next?
A few exciting plans are in the works right now, which will be announced in August. The goal for these plans is to inspire people to volunteer, and to connect them with others in their community who want to make a difference. The plans will also help us organize groups of people who want get involved with Twice As Warm, and want to work directly with me to make an impact.
What motivates you the most?
I’m motivated by the belief that we can help end the cycle of homelessness for people in our own communities and save lives. If Twice As Warm can change America’s perception of homelessness and show them why, how and where they can assist their neighbors in need, we will make a lasting impact.
To purchase articles of clothing, check out the blog and receive updates on Twice As Warm’s progress, visit here.