Good news
News
Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Victoria teen raising $10,000 for nonprofit free boutique for women

The fundraiser passed its initial $5,000 goal within the first week

By Emily Fagan
February 25, 2022
Good news
News
Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Victoria teen raising $10,000 for nonprofit free boutique for women

The fundraiser passed its initial $5,000 goal within the first week

By Emily Fagan
Feb 25, 2022
Lauren Roworth, a 12th grader at Lambrick Park Secondary School, has been fundraising for Wear2Start. Photo: Submitted
Lauren Roworth, a 12th grader at Lambrick Park Secondary School, has been fundraising for Wear2Start. Photo: Submitted
Good news
News
Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Victoria teen raising $10,000 for nonprofit free boutique for women

The fundraiser passed its initial $5,000 goal within the first week

By Emily Fagan
February 25, 2022
Get the news and events in Victoria, in your inbox every morning.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Victoria teen raising $10,000 for nonprofit free boutique for women
Lauren Roworth, a 12th grader at Lambrick Park Secondary School, has been fundraising for Wear2Start. Photo: Submitted

Angela Mangiacasale has seen her fair share of transformations as the former president of Wear2Start. The Victoria-based nonprofit provides women, trans, and nonbinary people who are low-income with free clothes, shoes, haircuts, makeup, and other accessories to help lower barriers to their success.

Often, Mangiacasale has seen women come into Wear2Start’s boutique quiet and reserved. Some are fleeing domestic violence, while others might need professional clothes for a meeting or a new job, or have recently experienced a health emergency. 

Whatever the situation, the Wear2Start team encourages them to try on clothes they may have never considered and tells them how beautifully they pull the outfits off. Mangiacasale remembers one woman who hadn’t worn fancier pants than jeans slowly became more chatty and confident as she tried on skirts, sweaters, and slacks over the course of her appointment.

“By the time she left, I swear—and this happens quite often—she was like five inches taller,” Mangiacasale said.

When Lauren Roworth, a 12th grader at Lambrick Park Secondary School, heard the impact this organization has had on the community, she knew she wanted to get involved. So for her capstone graduation project, she set out to raise $5,000 for Wear2Start—and surpassed that goal within the first week.

Now, she’s hoping to double that  through her Leg Up 4 Women fundraiser to help Wear2Start keep empowering self-identified women and nonbinary people for many years to come. Roworth is also collecting leggings to donate to the organization.

“[Wear2Start] has been around in Victoria for a really long time now, and it does so much for the women in the community,” she said. “So I really wanted to make sure this project brought awareness to their society.”

Wear2Start was created in 2001, inspired by founder Kathleen McMullin’s experiences fleeing an abusive relationship as a single mother in the 1970s. McMullin found herself without any professional clothes to wear at a job interview, and, without any money to buy new ones, had to borrow clothes from another mother at her children’s school.

“She knew she was not alone and she vowed to help other women in her shoes,” Mangiacasale said.

In the two decades since the organization began, Mangiacasale estimates they’ve helped more than 4,500 people. 

However, recent years have brought challenges for Wear2Start. The pandemic forced them to temporarily close, and many of their volunteers have yet to return due to the risks COVID poses to them and their loved ones. 


Support Your Community, Support Local Journalism

With paid membership, every penny goes directly to helping our newsroom continue its work and helps our team grow and expand our coverage

Become an Insider

Now, the boutique is open two days a week by appointment only. A volunteer coordinator helps operate their boutique, a position they have funded with a grant.

So when Roworth first approached Mangiacasale and the team at Wear2Start, they were grateful for her drive to get involved. Although the nonprofit has a steady stream of clothing from regular donors, they’d seen an uptick in women requesting leggings, which are hard to find donated in good condition. They could also use financial support to help keep operating at their current capacity, Mangiacasale told Roworth.

With that information, Roworth prepared a presentation outlining her intended fundraiser for Wear2Start’s board—with the goal of bringing in leggings while raising funds and awareness. According to Mangiacasale, the Wear2Start team was immediately on board.

“She just did an amazing job,” Mangiacasale said.

“If she raises $10,000, that's a huge amount of money for us and will help us pay for a part-time staff person.”

While a new wardrobe might not seem like much to those in positions of privilege, Mangiacasale has seen firsthand the difference it can make. 

Recently transitioned women have come into the boutique unsure of what clothes look best on them, and left with outfits that complement their identities and styles in ways they hadn’t expected. Wear2Start partners with other organizations including Cool Aid, refugee centres, transition houses, and the Victoria Native Friendship Centre to provide a personal stylist experience for anyone in need.

Roworth is happy her fundraiser will give back to this group that has helped so many community members over the past 20 years, and hopes it will allow them to keep supporting people long into the future.

“​​A huge takeaway from this project for me was that if a lot of people did a little every day, we would make more change in the world than if one or two people did a lot once,” she said.

Article Author's Profile Picture
EMAIL:
TWITTER:

Support Your Community, Support Local Journalism

With paid membership, every penny goes directly to helping our newsroom continue its work and helps our team grow and expand our coverage

Become an Insider

Related News

This Sooke bunny rescue has saved more than 500 rabbits
Stay connected to your city with the Capital Daily newsletter.
By filling out the form above, you agree to receive emails from Capital Daily. You can unsubscribe at any time.