23 September 2014

Give in Style: Fashion of Goodwill Really Means "Let's Get to Work"

I'm kinda funny about charities. I don't like to be pushed or pigeonholed into giving my time or my money. When those United Way campaigns kick off with the email from HR or the office "decides" to do a walk, I dig my heels in and don't participate.

A big part of it is that I want to contribute to something that's going to help someone move forward in their lives. Literacy programs, mentoring programs, and job training programs...that's where you'll find me "spending."

Goodwill Industries does just that. Goodwill's whole purpose is to help someone help themselves and move forward. Sure, they have those stores where we can find great thrifty deals and fashion steals. They also partner with major corporations to give whole groups of people a new chance in a new career.

Before I get to the Fashion of Goodwill runway show and pop-up shop (and they were good), I need to tell you about Goodwill of Greater Washington and Marriott Corporation. Marriott may be a worldwide company, but they're also a local, family-owned business (root beer, anyone?). Their roots are in DC, and they figured out a way to work with Events DC and Goodwill to create a job training program that will give DC-area folks the chance they need. This program, my friends, is exactly the type of "charity" I can get behind: people helping people help themselves.
Goodwill of Greater Washington CEO Catherine Meloy. Oh. btw, she's the one responsible for me scoring that amazing silk caftan at the last Fashion of Goodwill pop-up. Remember?

When all the speeches were finished and plaques had changed hands (stop...shake...turn...smile for the camera), after the video played showing program graduates in their new jobs, there was one last moment. The graduates of the Washington Marriott Marquis Job Training Program came out on stage. Some of them were grinning, some of them smiling tentatively, unsure about the attention - and all were dressed to the nines. These are people who have jobs they didn't have before - because they worked hard to get them.

Next time you think about giving to charity, think carefully: how will this change something for someone today? Tomorrow? How will they move forward because I chose to give?

And now, to get cheeky, I chose to give by scoring $54 worth of thrift store fashion. The runway show was fun. Styling off-the-rack thrift clothes is challenging, and there were some savvy interpretations of workwear (and some crazy ones). Never mind the music. Prince? Michael Jackson? Blondie? Yes, please. (Hey, Goodwill! This girl wouldn't mind a copy of the soundtrack!)
A gloriously 1980s sequined gown? Um...please tell my bank account it's already gone in the online auction.

But the real fun (other than catching up with stylish friends I never get to see) was scouring the racks at the pop-up shop. Alison of Wardrobe OxygenDeb of Real Girl Runwayand I had similar fun earlier this year - and we recreated it. Everyone found a fun score - the real point of thrifting, in my book, is to find things you wouldn't buy otherwise, vice stocking up on basics - and shoppers were leaving with full bags.

From an Oklahoman furrier. Furs are one of my favorite thrift store goals...ahem...finds. Part of me loves just wondering who wore them and where.

I was so tempted by this Dalmatian print blouse. Over-the-top prints are so now, and because it was a whole $7? When "now" becomes "so yesterday," I'm not crying in my milk.

Toldya furs are one of my favorite thrift store finds. There were TWO of these stoles. I found one left. Mink. Stoles. Great condition, and I threw it on as soon as I'd bought it. $24.98. The leather tote bag? Lerkia-Lee of Modage Styles was taking it back. I nabbed it, and have carried it since. $24.98. Also, my dress? Vintage out of a pink garage in New Orleans. Not kidding. Maybe it was $10.

The results, next day. I worked from home, so donned a Hanes (yup) sweatshirt, my new amber-toned lucite-ish necklace ($3.98), and threw my crap in my new tote...to pick up the Beans from school. Now that is Mama Style! (Ignore the mess behind me)


DC Goodwill Fashionista said...

By far, this is my favorite recap! I love how you talk about the mission. The parade of Marriott grads really did give me chills. Also, you win the award for find of the night with that Mink! Love it! Hope to see you soon!

DC Celine said...

It gave me chills, too. There's a lot to be said for a corporation where people can grow up...and that Goodwill has partnered with them.