Advocacy Article (Draft 2)

Background

Pay It Forward maybe one of the most sufficient ways of helping others. That’s because it encourages people to commit a good deed for one they’ve received. It sets off a chain reaction that can last forever. As long as the message is carried along, it’s a success!

So where did this idea come from? Pay It Forward is the title of a novel written by Catherine Ryan Hyde in 1999. In the novel, the main character comes up with the idea when the teacher asks his students how they can change the world. The concept is to help someone because someone else helped you. Then, the person you helped will help someone else, and so on.

The novel was reproduced as a film in 2000 and consequently became a real-life movement. The author became the founder of the Pay It Forward Foundation that same year. Their mission is to act as “a catalyst to inspire growth for the Pay It Forward philosophy, acts of kindness among strangers, generating a ripple effect from one person to the next, one community to the next.” The foundation achieves tis by supplying copies of the novel to schools and other learning institutions. They also employ social media platforms to encourage acts of kindness and to share the stories of good deeds already completed.

Their work is paying off, people around the world have taken the Pay It Forward initiative seriously. Instances of paying for next person’s coffee have occurred, specifically at a Starbucks in 2014. A woman started the chain at 7 a.m. when she paid for her coffee and the next person’s. All the 378 customers following the first woman paid for the next person’s drink until 6 p.m. when one customer did not continue the chain. The outcome of this day at Starbucks? By paying for the person behind them, 378 people helped one person get a free drink. And it all started with one’s act of kindness.

FPIF

What Fashion Pays It Forward wants to do is apply the concept to the fashion industry and to the world. It’s a big task, but we want to provide more meaning when we purchase clothes. Who you purchase from, what you do with the product; it has to help someone else in another way.

Fashions provided by FPIF will be the vessels in which a good deed is carried. For example, one of our basic initiatives is to have t-shirts and hoodies sporting the FPIF logo. On the back will be a message stating that funds from the purchase will be donated to a charity of choice. This is a simple action, with a simple act of kindness resulting from it. The main goal of this initiative is to spread awareness of who FPIF is, so others will look into it and hopefully participate.

We are making efforts to increase our initiatives with other forms of charity. An obvious event that will take place with FPIF is a clothing drive. People will be asked to donate gently used clothes so that they are delivered to families in the the country and across the globe. One downside about the fashion industry is that people buy massive amounts of clothes wearing them only a few times. Instead of hogging clothes in a garage or throwing them away, donating the will put “wasted” clothes to good use.

In relation to donating, other organizations have specialized clothing donations. For example, The Jewish Community Center of Youngstown hold fashion shows to display the clothes they gathered for people in need. These fashion are mainly professional, to help those looking/woking for a job, or those in vocational schools. However, they also have other casual/general clothes. The fashion show allows people to donate money, clothes, or their time as models.

The Jewish Community Center is one example of hosting an event with multiple for a good deeds being committed, all the while showcasing some great fashion. What we take away from this establishment is the fact that their charity event has multiple aspects in which multiple voluntary actions are made, but under one event. So instead of a simple donation with a t-shirt purchase or a clothing drive, we could host a more interactive event, such as a competition. FPIF will host events where new designers (and seasoned ones as well) show clothes they’ve designed for regular people who’ve contributed greatly to communities. This brings opportunity to acknowledge citizens who’ve committed acts of kindness and to provide a platform for new designers. The designers will have to apply for the opportunity. The theme of the designs will be semi-formal because the community members will be asked to wear them at a fashion show that will showcase other designs by the new designers. After the fashion show, the designs will be set up for sale, where the proceeds go towards two scholarships (one for one of the designers, and the other for an outside applicant). The designer awarded the scholarship will be determined by a vote on what they designed for the community member. This vote will be cast by esteemed professionals of the fashion industry (who will be volunteering their time and services).

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