‘Style for a Cause’: Teen holds fashion show to raise awareness, funds for St. Vincent de Paul

May 24, 2019

POCATELLO — Fashion sense doesn’t have to take a lot of cents and it can support a good cause, too.

That’s what a Pocatello teen proved through the “Style for a Cause” fashion show earlier this month. The event, which took place at Holy Spirit Catholic School, touted second-hand clothing and raised awareness and funds for St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store and Social Services in Pocatello.

Miren Gabiola organized the event with the help of St. Vincent de Paul store manager Beth Huston, Holy Spirit Catholic School teachers Peggy Kaiser and Margie Gabiola (Miren’s mother), and community member Megan Stover.

Gabiola says there’s a trend in upcycling vintage or donated clothing right now and she wanted to build on that while helping the nonprofit St. Vincent de Paul.

“I had begun learning more about fast fashion and all of the services St. Vincent de Paul helps the community with,” she said. “I thought that this fashion show would be a great way to promote more sustainable fashion as well as promote St. Vincent de Paul.”

Twenty-three youths between the ages of 6 and 18 participated in the event. They were able to go to the thrift store and select the clothing they wanted to model.

“It was so great to see the kids break out of their shells and make bold, fun poses,” Gabiola said. “I especially enjoyed seeing the kids get genuinely excited about wearing the outfits they chose, and then letting that excitement translate to the way they carried themselves while walking down the runway.”

Audience members were also able to learn more about St. Vincent de Paul’s services during the fashion show.

Huston said they talked about their thrift store inventory, which includes not only clothing and accessories, but also furniture, home decor, collectibles and more. In addition, they discussed discuss their food pantry — they give out 130 food boxes every week — and social services programs.

Huston said they provide vouchers that people in need can use to purchase items at the thrift store and they offer some financial assistance to those who qualify.

St. Vincent de Paul helps 15 to 20 families struggling to pay their rent and power bills each month, but they still have to turn dozens away due to limited funds, Huston said.

“We need shoppers in the store to help support our ministries,” she said.

The “Style for a Cause” fashion show raised $685 through free-will offerings to help St. Vincent de Paul with its services, Huston said. She appreciated Gabiola’s efforts, the unexpected amount of donations and the chance to connect with the community.

“It was an uplifting and positive thing,” she said, adding that people are already talking about organizing another event next year.

In the meantime, Gabiola hopes the fashion show will make a difference for those who participated.

“I hope that the kids learned that cool clothes can come from multiple places, not just the familiar mainstream corporations,” she said. “And I hope that the audience and parents were able to see the enthusiasm of the kids, and that they might stop by St. Vincent de Paul on their next shopping trip knowing that whatever money they give to St. Vincent de Paul will directly benefit someone in need.”

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