University of La Verne students picked up free clothes at the Clothing for Success event, held at the Campus Center Ballroom on Nov. 21.
The event was hosted by the ULV Enactus team, made up of 19 students in a La Verne Experience community service course, and aimed to provide free professional business attire. Shoppers also entered a raffle for a chance to win a free Lenovo Chromebook.
“Enactus is basically a business organization, but we try to do stuff for the community,” Kennedy Gonzalez, sophomore business administration major and event organizer, said. “So here, it’s where the students are giving out free clothes… That way, we can provide clothing for interviews or different things for students.”
Each visitor was given four tickets that could be exchanged for four articles of clothing from the racks placed around the room. About 100 students at the three-hour-long event shopped for various jackets, pants, shoes and more.
It was event organizer Emma Vu’s idea to give back to the community through clothing, specifically professional attire, since Enactus is business-focused. The senior business administration major became inspired by friends from her Oregon hometown that attend Oregon State University, which hosts Benny’s Business Closet, a thrift store dedicated to providing affordable business clothing.
Vu and Gonzalez worked with other ULV Enactus members to bring the student-run clothing drive together by booking the room, organizing the donated supplies, and advertising it. At the event, Gonzalez drew the 15 Chromebook raffle winners while Vu announced them.
Gonzalez and Vu said they had immense support from Enactus adviser Issam Ghazzawi, professor of management and the clothing drive’s sponsors Blink IT Solutions, WindTree Education, and Rotary Club of La Verne.
“This closet is a way for all students to have accessibility to different clothes so you can be prepared for an interview, or like a class presentation, just anything like that because I know clothes can be hard, especially professional clothes, for anyone to get access to,” Vu said.
Though the event was targeted to provide professional clothing, some visitors like Darlene Garcia, senior psychology major, and Alyssa Kinsey, sophomore kinesiology major, also found stylish pieces that could fit in their everyday closets.
Kinsey picked up a black mesh top she plans to layer with for her sorority meetings and black chunky sandals.
“I’m glad I found some business clothes because business clothes can get really expensive,” Kinsey said.
Garcia found an army green jacket with detachable sleeves, just in time for the winter weather, and a long striped skirt. She said she liked this idea and used to do it all the time at her old school, Chaffey College, before transferring to La Verne.
As students shopped, the Enactus team interacted with visitors at tables set up behind each clothing rack and box of shoes.
“I’m really proud of my class for coming together and making this event happen,” Vu said. “We’re coming out here on a time where we don’t have class… People came out here on their time off, especially during Thanksgiving week. I think this is really nice to kick off Thanksgiving week because it’s in the spirit of giving.”
In the spirit of giving, Jonathan Saldivar, sophomore kinesiology major, found a black pair of platform sandals for a Christmas gift to his girlfriend. He also scored a stylish jacket and a pair of shorts for himself.
“It was pretty cool, I mean, I’ve never seen anything like this, so it was pretty nice to have something like this (on campus),” Saldivar said.
Although each shopper was initially given only four tickets for four pieces of clothing, the Enactus team allowed students to grab more clothes off the rack as the event went on.
“These racks were honestly so full, and it’s nice to see that they’re bare,” Vu said. “I’m glad that a lot of students found what they were looking for and who doesn’t want free clothes? I feel like that’s such a nice addition to your day.”
Anabel Martinez can be reached at email@example.com.
Anabel Martinez is a senior digital media major with a concentration in film and television, and a journalism minor. She serves as the managing editor overseeing all of the Campus Times sections and was previously editor-in-chief in Spring 2022.