“J & 0 Upcycling”, a universally accessible free thrift shop operated by John Oliver Secondary School in south Vancouver, creates a resource for economically poor youth to obtain clothing and other resources without feeling marginalized or labelled.
The “shop” environment also creates an opportunity for staff to identify students in greatest need and provide “free tickets” to events such as prom, in a way that feels more like a student bonus than an act of charity. The store is run by a diverse group of student volunteers who learn entrepreneurial and life skills, and a greater understanding of how their contributions build a more equitable community.
A bi-annual fashion show, using J & O fashion wear and organized by students from the business education department, builds a positive image for students using this resource and, in turn, a stronger school and community culture.
A grant of $12,000 from The Vancouver Sun Children’s Fund Adopt-a-School program will help to purchase a washer and dryer, food for student volunteers, equipment such as hangers and racks, as well as the purchase of new socks and underwear.
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