On 126th Street in Manhattanville, it’s a simple rhythm of fold, fold, fold. But it’s a duty Jennifer Garmendia takes very seriously. Each piece of clothing is a sign of the cold weather that’s approaching and the strain it will take on those in need here in the city.

“It doesn’t matter what I have in the shop, if it’s a little or a lot. I always make sure it looks nice and is ready for whoever comes,” Garmendia said.

Garmendia volunteers at St. Mary’s Thrift Shop. The shop is a branch of the nonprofit organization “We Are Not Afraid" Community Resource Center, which supports and advocates for those in need. These donated coats and jackets will get a second life as the seasons begin to change.

“As it gets colder we need more jackets and pants. We need the clothing that will help keep people warm when they don’t have much else,” Garmendia said.

Garmendia understands what that feels like, she lives in a shelter in the Bronx. When she first heard about the thrift shop, it had been closed for weeks with no one to keep it open day to day.

“One day I got a call. And they were like, ‘Jennifer, do you want to work in the thrift store?’ And I was like, ‘Wow!’ I didn’t really know what to say, but then I thought ‘Yes, yes I do,’” Garmendia remembers.

Now Garmendia is there every day, sorting through donations and making sure all the clothing is clean and ready for anyone who stops by. Even those who can’t pay still walk away with what they need.

“On Monday's, when I know they’re going to be handing out food, I always arrive early. I know there’ll be a lot of people and sometimes I bring over things to hand out. It goes as fast as the food,” Garmendia said.

Garmendia is grateful for this simple way to give back to her community, keeping neighbors warm with not only these jackets but also her smile.

“I just do a little bit, but I feel like the little bit I do is important. It makes me feel good,” she said with a grin.

For helping to keep away the winter chill, Jennifer Garmendia is our New Yorker of the Week.