April 18th, 2024

MyCityCare making graduation dreams come true

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on April 4, 2024.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

There’s no fairy godmother or magical pumpkin, but there will be plenty of Cinderella-like magic going on for high school students needing a new outfit for their graduation ceremony.
MyCityCare’s Cinderella Project and Tux Shop will make graduation dreams come true by providing grad dresses and suits to students who may not be able to afford outfits for the significant event in their lives.
“Graduation is a really important milestone in a student’s life, and we just want to honour that,” says Tanya Lister, program co-ordinator with MyCityCare, a non-profit clothing and food bank in the city.
“We want to honour the hard work that they’ve put in. We want them to be able to cross that stage with confidence and dignity and to be able to celebrate with them.”
The Cinderella Project and Tux Shop was the brainchild of Jen Tribble, executive director of MyCityCare, who recognized the need in the community and surrounding area for such a service.
“MyCityCare looks for places where there are gaps, where we can step in to help people, and she saw that there was a gap here, in that there are students in our city that choose not to go to their grad every year because they feel like they are not able to participate in the same way as their peers,” Lister says.
“It’s a big deal, and whether you’re getting a suit or a dress, it’s a big expense and that can be a really big burden for a family. The families are excited for the opportunity for their students who have worked so hard to get to this space; we want them to be able to participate in their grad and to feel their best.”
MyCitySpace is collecting donations of dresses, suits, jewelry, belts, shoes and dress shirts. The organization also accepts donations of cash to help buy accessories and other items, and it accepts makeup, although it needs to be new.
Lister says MyCitySpace is also looking for businesses willing to help sponsor the program, as well as photographers and hair stylists to donate sessions for the students.
Lister says donations are essential for the success of the project, and MyCityCare has been fortunate in that it has been able to meet the needs over the years without falling short.
“We definitely do need the donations. Our whole program runs on donations. We rely heavily on support from our community to make this program a success.”
Donations can be dropped off at the MyCityCare office, 126 F Mayor Magrath Drive North, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday to Thursday, and financial donations can be made online at, mycitycare.ca, then choose the Lethbridge location.
The office location is set up to create a boutique experience for the students, in which they choose the perfect outfit for their graduation. A volunteer team of personal shoppers walk them through the appointment from start to finish.
Students register through the website, and they are contacted to book an appointment to choose their dress or suit.
“We are thrilled to be able to come alongside these students and their families in this unique way to provide formal wear for graduating students,” Tribble says. “Grad is such an important event in the lives of high school students, and we want to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to participate and feel their best.”

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