Club spreads goodwill with clothing drive

June 5, 2009 11:57:18 AM PDT
Some of fashion's future stars are using their talent in the Bay Area to foster goodwill and help their friends and neighbors in need.

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This is no ordinary group of teens sorting through a pile of clothes, figuring out what to wear -- this is organization for the greater good.

"I feel like, I mean, being a 16-year-old girl we do have a lot of clothes, and we do have a lot of clothes that we can donate," said Natalie Herndon, Fashion Club founder.

"We kind of wanted to reach out to the community and give back," said Jacqueline Ow, Fashion Club founder.

So that's why juniors Jacqueline Ow and Natalie Herndon started the first-ever Fashion Club at Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek.

No, it's not about frivolously flipping through fashion magazines, chatting about what's hot -- while this club meets bi-weekly to discuss and explore the students' interest in fashion and design, it's also been busy collecting gently worn clothing for all ages, genders and sizes.

"We take someone's old shirt and another person's pants," said Ow.

And then they use their own fashion-sense to make sure to coordinate, bag and label sensible outfits.

"Sometimes we'll make outfits for the summer without a coat, and then sometimes we'll make winter ones with maybe jeans and a coat, so it's more seasons and sizes," said Herndon.

"In just its first year, the Las Lomas Fashion Club already has 40 students involved and in their first clothing drive, they donated 100 outfits to a church in Oakland."

During that first drive last December, club members personally delivered the outfits to the City of Refuge Church Tabernacle on International Boulevard. It was a hit.

"I talked to the reverend a week later, and he said there was a line out the door wanting to get their hands on the donations, which I thought was really nice," said Ow.

The club says that having something stylish to wear can bring more confidence, so the plan is to keep collecting and styling outfits for the next clothing drive. As for the pair who started the club, the activities director at Las Lomas High believes their leadership skills and passion for fashion will guide them far.

"I know both of them are interested in pursuing fashion-related careers, so the possibility of them adding in a community service aspect to their fashion career is really exciting," said Sarah Wondolowski, Las Lomas High School teacher/activities director.

And that first career step has already begun; both Jacqueline and Natalie were just accepted to an internship on the Nordstrom store's "Brass Plum Fashion Board."

The Fashion Club's next clothing drive is this Sunday, June 7th. Anyone interested in donating for this drive or future ones can drop off clothes to main office at Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek.

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