The community has heard a local radio voice loud and clear, and she’s asking people to stop bringing clothes and instead wants everyone to bring their wallets to next week's fundraiser.
Meg Whitton, morning show host at Bounce Radio broadcasting out of Midland, has independently set up a fundraiser for June 17 at the Perkinsfield Park pavilion to host a clothing resale popup featuring new and used women’s clothing on consignment, with 60 per cent of proceeds going to the not-for-profit Severn Sound Environmental Association (SSEA).
“I’m a hippie; I really like the environment,” Whitton told MidlandToday from within the sorted piles of donations at her office. “I wanted to have an environmental fundraising event. I’m interested in minimalism and I think it’s an issue in the environment we don’t talk about.”
The idea for a clothing fundraiser came to her during Earth Week in April as she explored north Simcoe stories that had a positive effect on the region to share on air with listeners.
The SSEA is an eight-municipality environmental protection partnership around the Severn Sound watershed. It recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of delisting Severn Sound as an area of concern in the Great Lakes.
“While speaking to (SSEA executive director Julie Cayley), I was fascinated to find that in the ’90s, this area was one of the worst polluted areas in the Great Lakes, and we are, to this day, one of the only spots in North America and the Great Lakes that have moved from (that designation)," said Whitton.
Inspired by the SSEA, its efforts against invasive species, its local citizen awards, and much more, Whitton chose the clothing resale event as a way to give back to the organization.
She rented the Perkinsfield event location and put out a call for clothing donations on her social media page, and was surprised when commissions poured in from well outside her initial request circle.
“I would expect to have 1,000 (articles of clothing),” she said.
As a result, her request was for people to stop donating, as the cut-off limit had been reached and she couldn’t take any further submissions. Instead, she has asked the public to show up to the event between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and purchase what is on hand as a way to financially contribute to the SSEA.
“I’d say a quarter of the stuff coming in has (new purchase) tags,” she stated, pointing to the large amounts of clothing ranging between women’s sizes extra small up to double extra large.
Without having sorted all of the donations, Whitton had registered 20 Lululemon yoga pants in the collection, with other name brands included such as Roots jackets and Steve Madden footwear.
“Part of this process is to give people experience to examine their previous purchases. When you see that you have four bags of clothes that you’re not wearing, that you bought at retail prices, it’s an eye-opening experience,” she said.