Charity that helps Surrey grads look and feel great needs donations of cash, clothing

An organization that helps Surrey students look great on graduation day is in a “dire financial situation.”

Donations of cash and clothing are needed by You Wear It Well… Just for Grads Society (youwearitwell.org) in order to continue its work with at-risk graduates from Surrey, White Rock and New Westminster, according to board member Brenda Stadel.

The charitable organization provides students with grad gowns and tuxedos at no cost, to help make them look and feel their best on their big day.

“We’ve seen the success of the program and how great it is for kids who don’t have nice outfits to go to grad,” Stadel said.

The group has operated in New West for about a decade.

“We just took over the Surrey area two years ago, after the Princess Project shut down abruptly,” Stadel explained. “Last year we found out most of our kids were from Surrey.”

Donations are needed for a “Boutique Day” planned for March 3, 2019. An estimated 200 to 250 grads will attend the gathering, which Stadel expects will be the organization’s largest yet.

“Once we get dresses and the kids signed up, we have a boutique day,” she said. “We find a venue and set everything up, all the dresses and suits. The kids come and have a day where we get some assistance for them, pick their outfits, get their makeup done, photos, a lunch and a goodie bag, with toothbrush and things.”

• RELATED STORY: Non-profit needs help getting Surrey’s at-risk students all dolled up for prom, from January 2018.

Grads are referred to the program by school counselors, youth workers, teachers or administrators. After grad, the students get to keep the donated clothing.

“We are looking for funds but also donations of dresses and suits,” Stadel noted. “We want to have a Boutique Day in Surrey but we’re having a hard time finding a venue there, hopefully something around Surrey Central.”

Stadel is among close to 100 volunteers who help run You Wear It Well… Just for Grads Society.

“One-hundred percent of donations will go towards planning our Boutique Day event,” she added.

In a mid-October post at youwearitwell.org, the organization said cash donations are needed: “While we are always grateful for in-kind support, without cash, we are unable to pay for the venue, insurance, food, decorations – all the things that make the day special for our grads. As we now are a Registered Canadian Charitable organization, we can issue tax receipts for charitable donations.”

Donations can be made at youwearitwell.org/donate.

Major sponsors of the organization include Norm and Kelly Kerfoot of Apollo Custom Manufacturing in Surrey.

“Most of our students have endured hardships that make attending school difficult, and the prospect of attending graduation is a financial impossibility for them and their families,” the organization states.

“Many would not graduate without our support. It has been our experience that, by removing the barriers that prohibit these students from attending their graduation festivities, most of them are encouraged to complete their high school education.”

• RELATED STORY: KPU grads walk to special new music made by Surrey composer, from October 2018.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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