Rotary Club of Victoria-Harbourside president Angus Macpherson visited the Wear2Start Society boutique in Victoria to present a cheque to the society’s vice-president Alessandra Ringstad (left) and president Angela Mangiacasale. (Courtesy of Wear2Start)

Rotary Club of Victoria-Harbourside president Angus Macpherson visited the Wear2Start Society boutique in Victoria to present a cheque to the society’s vice-president Alessandra Ringstad (left) and president Angela Mangiacasale. (Courtesy of Wear2Start)

Rotary club donates over $11,000 to Greater Victoria non-profit for women

Wear2Start Society provides clothing for women in need

A non-profit serving Greater Victoria women in need received a major boost from the Rotary Club of Victoria-Harbourside.

Wear2Start helps women overcome barriers to success by providing them with fresh clothes, accessories and haircuts. This week’s $11,600 donation from the rotary club will ensure the non-profit can keep its part-time volunteer coordinator.

Because of the pandemic, Wear2Start was forced to close its doors for a year, and when it reopened many of its previous volunteers were too vulnerable, or were living with someone too vulnerable, to return.

“A volunteer co-ordinator is helping us to recruit and train new volunteers to serve clients and establish a new system to allow us to again accept clothing donations,” president Angela Mangiacasale said.

Wear2Start’s clients include women who are unemployed, healing from trauma and violence, are new to the region or the country, are battling mental illness or addictions, are single parents, or are facing poverty and homelessness. In each case, the client is welcomed into Wear2Start’s downtown boutique to pick out a few mix-and-match outfits, complete with shoes, accessories and a small bag of personal care essentials. They’re also offered a free haircut and clothing alterations if needed.

READ ALSO: Our Place campaign puts Greater Victoria’s youth in the picture

The goal is to empower all women to reach their goals.

During the pandemic, women – especially those who are people of colour, lower income or new to the country – have been hit hardest. Mental health has deteriorated, jobs have been lost and rates of domestic violence have increased.

So now, more than ever, Wear2Start said it is grateful for for the rotary club’s donation. Club president Angus Macpherson said members have been working hard during the pandemic to live up to the organization’s motto – “service above self.”

READ ALSO: Pandemic leaves Greater Victoria women more vulnerable to domestic violence

READ ALSO: Women, immigrants bearing the brunt of economic toll from pandemic: Report


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