Biola community partners with La Mirada in clothing drive for LA Dream Center

Biola will be partnering with the city of La Mirada in a clothing drive commemorating National Women’s History Month.

Katie Nelson, Writer

For its second annual clothing drive benefitting the Dream Center in downtown Los Angeles, Biola is partnering with the city of La Mirada to provide professional attire for both men and women in rehabilitation, according to Brenda Velasco, Biola’s assistant director of public relations and internal communications.

Last year’s drive catered only to women, in honor of National Women’s History Month. However, Biola decided to collect clothing for men as well after an outpour of requests from Dream Center residents and male Biola employees, Velasco said.

“When we made the delivery last year, they were so thrilled about how much clothing we had collected, and some of the men that are in the center said, ‘Well, what about our clothes?’” Velasco said. “Even though some of the [male employees donated] clothing from their wives, they wanted to be able to do their own donations. So it was a win-win, because our community wanted to serve in that way and they needed that.”

Drive to commemorate women’s history month

While the drive is being put on to help commemorate women’s history month, Velasco noted that she did not think adding men’s clothing detracted from the event’s feminine focus.

“Men can celebrate women through the clothing drive, even though they’re giving clothing for men, but it’s still part of a collaborative effort,” she said. “It can be in celebration of women that we’re holding this drive to collect for both men and women.”

The drive is not limited only to Biola; it includes donations from La Mirada City Hall and the La Mirada Resource Center. So far, they have collected three bins full of clothing, according to Velasco. Biola has pulled together about 15 large trash bags’ worth.

The collected donations will be delivered and distributed to the Dream Center residents this Friday, according to public relations intern, freshman journalism major Rachel Snyder.

Biola students and staff to distribute

“When we deliver it, we’ll be setting up all the clothing in a room that they have given us,” Velasco said. “There’ll be time for Q and A, and the women will be able to go around and select clothing they want.”

Snyder, along with other Biola students, staff and faculty, will be aiding the dispensation.

“We’ll probably just be there to help out with the clothing; we’re going to hang the clothes up on racks and … set up,” she said.

Snyder added that alumnae Beth Jones, a fashion blogger, and Marcy Guevara, a plus-size fashion stylist, will be leading a “Dress for Success” workshop geared toward teaching women how to dress for business on a budget.

La Mirada City Hall is not the only outside organization partnering with Biola on the event. Biola alumna Erica Roth, who is also a host for local Christian radio station KKLA, is scheduled to be the emcee of the clothing drive, Velasco said.

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