“Work it, Moms!” was the semester project for fashion merchandising majors Erika Canales (senior, Bourbonnais, Ill.), Britt Wilt (sophomore, Bourbonnais), Alyssa Mitchell (senior, Bloomington, Ill.), Kristy Czyzniejewski (senior, Beecher, Ill.) and Nicole Parsons (senior, Bourbonnais) in their “Professional Issues and Actions” course.
Working with Lori Vincent, event coordinator for Teen MOPS at Adventure Christian Church, Bourbonnais, these students planned to present a seminar on professional dress and demeanor to teen moms. They also wanted to provide them with one professional outfit for interviews and work. Their goal was to show these young women that Jesus is alive and active.
During a campus-wide clothing drive, this group collected three times as many clothes as they expected to collect. Then, they spent three weeks grouping, sizing, categorizing, cleaning and ironing the clothing.
But before they could deliver the donated clothing, more than half of it was lost when Alyssa’s car burned.
“God came through for us,” Alyssa says. “I work at The Gap Factory Outlet, and I told my manager, Amy Gorecki, what had happened. She composed a letter about my situation and sent it to all of the Gaps in our district. More than 45 boxes of new Gap clothes and accessories, plus shoes and undergarments from TJ Maxx came to us.”
These students presented the seminar as scheduled to 15 teen moms. Each received three outfits instead of just one, along with a large dose of encouragement, hope and Christian love.