10 Aug High-Schoolers Score Back-to-School Style, More At Goodwill Event
Akilah modeled for her role model, Alyssa saved for college, Parker embraced patterns and Melanie’s mom shed a few happy tears.
At Goodwill’s Back-2-School Style Giveaway on Aug. 5 at its store in Madison, four lucky high school students received personal styling sessions with Porsche Pope, a well-known Nashville fashion blogger, and several free outfits for class. And by the end of the day, they each had gained something more as well.
Akilah, 10th Grade, Davidson County
When Akilah, who hopes to someday become a stylist, saw that Porsche would be conducting Goodwill’s giveaway sessions, she rushed to enter. She had met Porsche at Goodwill’s Sip, Style & Shop fashion event held in East Nashville in April, and she regularly reads Porsche’s fashion and thrifting blog, Polished Pope.
“I basically want to do what she does,” Akilah said, “So, it was a really great learning experience to see how she worked to style me — how she picked the outfits and how she put things together.”
Akilah particularly loved a seafoam green sweater and pants combination that Porsche chose for her, which just happened to match her nail polish. The next day, Akilah posted those items and the rest of her Goodwill “haul” on her own food, fashion and literature blog, which she has been publishing for a year.
“Having (Porsche) as my stylist was amazing,” she wrote. “She nailed my aesthetic perfectly even though all she had to go on were my favorite colors.”
Alyssa, 12th Grade, Cheatham County
Alyssa had never won anything before, but when she saw a post on Instagram about Goodwill’s Back-2-School Style Giveaway, she decided to enter.
“I said, ‘You know what? Free clothes — sounds awesome to me,’” she recalled. “I didn’t expect to win.”
Alyssa said she recently took a part-time job and is paying for her own school clothes this year, so a shopping trip to Goodwill was in the cards for her anyway. The timing of the giveaway — during Goodwill’s monthly First Saturday 50 Percent Off Sale — sweetened the deal.
“I didn’t want to have to spend a lot of money,” she explained. “I am saving money for college.”
Alyssa was excited to leave Goodwill with two armloads of stylish clothing for under $25 (the amount of the gift cards students won in the giveaway).
Parker, 9th Grade, Rutherford County
Parker’s mom, Jeanne, said her son and his friends typically want to shop in expensive, trendy stores. But with four teenagers in the house, she added, “I’m not spending $36 on a shirt.”
Instead, she encourages them to shop at Goodwill. But, this hasn’t always been an easy sell, she said. She signed Parker up for the giveaway hoping to change his mind.
Porsche found a number of high-quality, brand-name items at Goodwill for Parker to try on, including colorful button-up shirts, dress pants and khaki shorts. In every case, he was open-minded and willing to try the items on — not always the case with young men, Porsche said.
And almost every time he peeked out of the dressing room, he did so to great acclaim from his stylist and his mom.
“I enjoyed seeing all the smiles when I tried on clothes,” Parker said. “And I was surprised that I liked some of the stripes and different patterns of clothes — I usually choose solid colors.”
Asked if he might shop differently in the future when his mom brings him to Goodwill, he grinned and said, “I think I might look around more.”
Melanie, 11th Grade, Sumner County
Melanie was very pleased with the clothes she won through the giveaway. And, she was able to save some money for a car thanks to a part-time summer job at the local Goodwill store. Her family frequently shops and donates with the nonprofit organization as well.
But, her mother Nancy explained, their connection and gratitude to Goodwill goes further.
In 2014, Nancy was laid off from a well-paying job she had held for many years. At the same time, a spinal ailment she had developed was getting worse, making it impossible for the single mother to stand or even sit continuously for very long.
Nancy applied for jobs, and she began the application process to receive government disability benefits. But, as time passed with no money coming in, the family’s situation became dire. She went to a Goodwill Career Solutions center for help and was hired by Goodwill, which provided special accommodations so she could work as a donations processor.
“It helped put food on the table until I got my disability,” she said, with tears welling up in her eyes. “This company’s always had our back.”
Porsche said after the Back-2-School Style Giveaway that she considered the event a rousing success.
“I wanted to introduce the younger generation to the fact that you can shop at Goodwill for amazing pieces for back-to-school or everyday wear, and I wanted to show them that you don’t have to spend a whole lot of money to look great,” she said. “I think we achieved that.”