Did you purchase your dress for JLC’s Annual Gala instead of “Renting the Runway?” Instead of letting it gather dust in the back of your closet, give your dress a second life by donating it to MBoutique—a “shopping” opportunity for underprivileged teens throughout Chicago. Since 2007, the Metropolitan Board of Chicago Urban League has hosted MBoutique where local high school girls can “shop” through donated formal wear and accessories so that they can attend prom looking and feeling beautiful. This year the event will take place April 2 at De La Salle Institute, a high school located on Chicago’s south side. The JLC has teamed up with the Urban League to help collect new or gently used formals, cocktail dresses, accessories and shoes for this amazing event.
The collection runs now through March 18 at JLC Headquarters, but the Urban League will continue to accept donations through March 31 at various locations throughout Chicago. The Annual Gala is March 5, so that provides the perfect opportunity to donate your once-used dress to teens in need. Of course, any formal or cocktail dress that is in good condition will do: that bridesmaid dress you were assured you could wear again, formals from your sorority days, or fancy cocktail dresses that sadly no longer fit. If you don’t have a dress to donate consider providing accessories (earrings, necklaces, clutches, etc.) or gently worn shoes.
In addition to providing free dresses for high school girls they also offer etiquette, make-up and hairstyling tips so that the girls can feel confident and have the full prom experience. Throughout the day other items such as limo rides, manicures and pedicures, and hair salon appointments are raffled off as a bonus treat to the girls. Last year, they were able to serve over 200 high school girls from the Chicago-area and this year their goal is to serve 500. That’s a lot of dresses to collect!
So, where can you donate?
- The JLC is accepting donations in a marked box located in the Sustainer Garden Room at Headquarters through March 18. Drop off times are
M-W 9:00am – 8:00pm and
TR-F 9:00am – 5:00 pm
- You can also drop off donations at the Chicago Urban League (4510 S Michigan Ave) or the University of Chicago’s chapter of Alpha Phi Omega through March 31.
For additional information please contact the Metro Board of Chicago Urban League at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out the JLC’s Facebook page
By Kaitlin Hasenbeck-Meyer, 2015-16 Topics & Trends staff member