SOS Staff member Hollie Francis shows off one of many new and gently used dresses that local grads can get for $5 at SOS. The program is available to all local grads by appointment. Call 250-248-2093 ext. 232.

Cloaking Parksville Qualicum Beach grads in class

Society of Organized Services program gives grads an opportunity to dress their best for the ceremonies

  • Apr. 21, 2015 8:00 p.m.

LISSA ALEXANDER

Marketing Coordinator

Society of Organized Services

Many a glamorous and fanciful dress are highly revered during  an important life event, and then are cast to the depths of our closets, rarely given the chance to show their glory again.

The Society of Organized Services (SOS) Grad Wear program aims to change that.

For years the program has been bedecking high school grads and their dates with new and gently used outfits, along with accessories and shoes, all for $5.

SOS Grad Wear Volunteer Debbie Mitchell said the program is a great way to recycle beautiful clothing and also give teenagers the chance to try on a variety of colours and styles to see what suits them best.

“Grad is one of a few times in your life where you’ll have the opportunity to dress in a stunning gown or tux. This is a fun, no-pressure process,” she said.

Mitchell said graduation comes with a host of pressures: emotional, financial and peer. She said she feels the program can alleviate some of that stress. The Grad Wear program has been fortunate to receive a number of brand new dresses from a shop in Courtenay, and the majority of the remaining dresses have only been worn once.

The occasional dress has needed minor repair work which has been done by a volunteer seamstress.

Mitchell said it’s very rewarding to see young girls happy and excited about their finds, and one girl wanted to pay more than $5 because she felt guilty for getting such a good deal. But it’s a win-win situation, Mitchell said.

Those that donate their dresses can feel good knowing someone else will get to enjoy it as they did, and the recipient gets a gown without having to stress about the costs to her and her family.

Although the program continues to successfully suit up young gentlemen in dapper outfits, the program could use some more donations of small and medium-sized tuxes and suits, Mitchell said.

“Because many men rent their tuxes we don’t get many donated to the program,” she said.

For women, the program is stocked with the shorter-style date dresses as well as long gowns. But SOS gratefully accepts donations of dresses for the program throughout the year, and especially in these months leading up to graduation. The program also accepts gently used shoes and accessories.

Mitchell said she and her fellow Grad Wear volunteer Trish Marrion recognise that choosing an outfit for graduation can be a big decision.

She encourages grads to book an appointment and bring someone along whose opinion they value, along with an open mind.

And for those grads that have benefitted from the program, please endorse the program through social media, or by sharing the Facebook page (Facebook.com/SOSgradwear) and spread the word.

The SOS Grad Wear Program is not located at the SOS Thrift Shop. Instead, all the outfits are located in a room at the SOS Child, Youth & Family Centre in Parksville, and grads need to call to make an appointment.

Once there, they can try on numerous outfits in privacy. To book an appointment or to make a donation to the program, please call the SOS at 250-248-2093 ext. 232. For more information on the SOS visit www.sosd69.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

MLAs say Parksville will better prepared for flooding emergencies

RDN receives $150K in funding for Englishman River Flood Hazard Mapping project

Campaign aims to raise $50K for young family of deceased Vancouver Island skydiver

James Smith, 34, died July 5 following incident in Nanoose Bay

Parksville man, 95, gets lifetime achievement award for civil rights work

Bill Duncan worked with Martin Luther King Jr. in Chicago

71-unit rental apartment building proposed in downtown Parksville

Open house will take place before second reading of bylaw amendment

Horgan says B.C. restart making gains as more people come out of their homes

B.C. announced the easing of more restrictions on businesses, recreation and travel last month

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Lower Mainland YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Haida matriarchs occupy ancient villages as fishing lodges reopen to visitors

‘Daughters of the rivers’ say occupation follows two fishing lodges reopening without Haida consent

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

Conservatives say police should be called into investigate WE charity scandal

Trudeau is already under investigation by the ethics commissioner for potential conflict of interest

Amber Alert continues for missing Quebec girls, 6 and 11, and their father

Police issued the alert for Norah Carpentier, 11, and Romy Carpentier, 6, from Levis, Que.

Limit police access to lethal weapons in Indigenous communities: Justice Summit

Grassroots-organized National Indigenous Justice Summit was a free-to-attend two-day videoconference

17-year-old girl from Nanaimo reported missing

RCMP asking for help finding Trisha Harry

Most Read