East York thrift shop participating in prom wear drive

Prom season is right around the corner, and an East York thrift shop is trying to make sure that all students will be dressed to the nines for their big occasion.
In This Closet is a resale fashion boutique located on the Danforth, and is owned by local resident Colleen McDonald. Up to this weekend, she has been opening her store up as a drop-off location for New Circles Community’s citywide “Prom Boutique” initiative. The program was created to ensure that graduating students who can’t afford the costs of prom due to financial constraints can still pick up something to wear at no cost. McDonald said it’s important for her to participate because she believes that all youth should be able to attend prom, regardless of their economic situation.
“For this initiative, we just felt that it would be such a shame for students not to go to prom for financial reasons. So anything we could do to help, we’d be glad to,” she said.
In This Closet has been partnering with New Circles for two years, since the initiative was created. East York residents can donate gently used or new formal wear for young men and women in sizes 10 to 22. In addition, they can also drop off shoes, makeup and toiletries, which are greatly needed. McDonald said that the response to the program has been very enthusiastic.
“People have been very generous. They come in every day with not only one but two dresses, some shoes and a slew of makeup. We’ve collected about 20 dresses so far,” she said.
New Circles’ annual Prom Boutique is expected to dress about 500 youth in Toronto for their proms this year. They have set up eight drop off locations around the city for residents to contribute to. But program manager Nita Saini said that despite people’s generosity, there is still a huge need for donations.
“We’re very limited by the amount of donations we receive, so basically the more donations we receive, the more students we can help,” she said.
This Friday, April 17 is the last official day for donations to the Prom Boutique.