Expat Unplugged: Donate. Fashion. Please.

Andrea , 22 Feb 2011
Tunic Time
Tunic Time

Expat Unplugged Diary1. donate |dōnāt|
Verb: To present as a gift to a fund or cause; contribute.

2. fashion |f sh n|
Noun: The prevailing style or custom, as in dress or behavior.

3. please |plēz|
Verb: cause to feel happy and satisfied.

It is always a successful day when you can combine a good deed and a fun filled brunch packed with your amazing friends. This is just what happened when Friday Club decided to host their first annual clothing drive for the girls of the Aasha Foundation at their 6th anniversary bash.

After an impressive response and sorting session, a few of my favorite ladies and I headed to the Aasha Foundation home stocked and ready for 30 beautiful young ladies to put on a fashion show. Trishna Mathews acted as our top notch stylist spending one on one time with each girl picking out the perfect outfit while MissMalini, Sheetal Vyas and I sang our praises of the styling and occasionally handled the accessory department.

Clothes Drive
Clothes Drive

The newly styled fashionistas exuded an immense amount of confidence as they posed for our fashion show turned photo shoot. Karen Doff, co-founder of Aasha Foundaton, has been sending me daily photo reminders of how something as small as donating clothes has a lasting effect. The older girls have been snapped after a visit to the dentist in their new shirts while the younger girls are showing how creative they have become with the clothing drive articles. Last night a huge smile complementing a bright blue ensemble popped up on my phone with the caption “Preeti turns a donated dupatta into a saree.” Adorable.

With a change of season heading your way, there is no better time than now to clean out your closet. If you would like to start your own clothing drive, here are a few simple steps to get you started:

Step 1: Obtain permission to use the space where you plan to locate your collection boxes or event. This could be your office, school, social group, or your own home. MissMalini graciously stored the massive pile of donations collected at brunch at her flat for safe keeping until the fashion show. Thank you MissMalini!

Step 2: Contact a charitable agency for details of partnership.

Step 3: Secure prizes — such as toys, treats or an extra vacation day — that would motivate clothing and shoe donations from your potential audience. Check with your employer and local merchants, who would get positive publicity for their participation. (Dear Friday Club, please forgive our lack of prizes. We had faith you would donate out of the goodness of your hearts. Although I am almost certain you did find yourself with a cleaner, organized closest after.)

Step 4: Ensure your donors are aware of a few simple policies in regards to clothing donation. Most charities request that the clothes are clean with no large stains or rips. Please also ensure used undergarments are also not included.

Step 5: Have fun advertising your collection drive! The more appealing your advertisement, the more your community can make a difference for those in need. Social media is a great way to communicate details of the event and pictures approved by the charitable organization always help.

Step 6: Decide on delivery with your charitable partner. Many charities prefer to pick up the donations and distribute internally. If you are able to join in on the distribution, there are many options. You could try our fashion show and photo shoot method or allow children to draw numbers from a hat to determine the order in which they are allowed to choose an item.

Step 7: Give yourself a pat on the back, smile and continue spreading the love!

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