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Connecting Our Communities

WCS among recipients of United Way back-to-school denim drive

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A new wardrobe may be a big part of back-to-school time, but your old blue jeans don’t have to stay at home: a United Way fundraiser is looking to give them a new life.

In partnership with Conestoga Mall, United Way Waterloo Region Communities is collecting gently used denim clothing that will then be turned over to community groups such as Woolwich Community Services and Wilmot Family Resource Centre.

Through September 8, you can stop by the mall to drop off appropriate denim clothing that will go to help those who may not have had a back-to-school shopping spree.

Along with supporting United Way, the project is a way for Conestoga Mall to get involved, notes Hilary McCann, senior director at the charitable agency.

“I think it just allows people to realize that people want to work with their community. They just don’t want to be the people who own the mall.”

Along with clothing donations there will be an opportunity for parents and children to join in on activities such as making your own denim pocket. A denim lounge is set up near Sport Check in the mall where people can design their own pocket and then it will be displayed on the denim wall. A $2 donation is requested, though any amount will be welcomed, with the funds going to support community groups. With every pocket decorated, Conestoga Mall will be donating $2 to the cause.

You can weave some more fun into the equation by dropping by to participate in the DIY denim sessions that will take place on September 7 and 8, where participants will have the opportunity to create various denim back-to-school gear and accessories.

The first 550 people who drop off two articles of denim clothing will receive a $10 mall gift card while quantities last.

“They want to make sure they’re weaving their way into the local fabric of the community, so it brings children and parents into it,” said McCann of the effort.

All donations will be handed out to partner agencies of the United Way, selected on the basis of community need and to ensure that those who need help get it, explains McCann.

“There’s the altruistic side of it where everyone can do something to help the community with those things that might just be taking up closet space.”

Through the pop-up experience, Conestoga Mall general manager Karl Ditoro, said the venue gets to show its pride in being part of the community.

“We hope that during this back-to-school season, people will join us to help everyone kick off the school year with success.”

The program runs all across Canada at different malls that are partnering with the United Way. In each case, clothing and monetary donations go directly to local agencies.

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