Approximately 250 students turned out at the Northern Illinois University Holmes Student Center’s second-floor Gallery Lounge for the NIU Women’s Resource Center’s annual Clothing Swap February 21. The clothing swap provides students gently used and new professional attire free of charge as they prepare to meet prospective employers at campus career fairs.
“The intent of the program is to provide students in need with some much-needed clothes and to focus on professional apparel for when they embark on interviews, attend internship fairs and career fairs here at NIU,” says Lisa Schmidt, acting director of the Women’s Resource Center.
Prior to the event, faculty, staff, and students dropped off clean, gently used clothing in one of the Women’s Resource Center’s donation boxes located across campus. The effort was given a big boost by NIU alumnus Lee Ann Park, the visionary founder and CEO of the Little in the Middle clothing line, who donated more than 700 new business clothing articles to students.
“Several students have come up and thanked me,” says Park, pleased with the response by students to her donation, which also included approximately 125 women’s business jackets appropriate for the professional working world. “We’re very excited because they said they’re wearing their outfits tomorrow for their career event.”