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Clothing Giveaway
As some of you have heard, Susan Stewart is helping me out by dealing with Jane's clothes. There's a truly amazing amount -- on the order of 15 clothing racks plus another 15 bins, not to mention something like a hundred pairs of shoes and assorted accessories. (Including quite a number of fancy gowns -- it was pointed out to me the other week that these are potentially useful to the LARP crowd as well as OES.)

So the first step is that Susan is doing a clothes giveaway in May. I know that not everyone will be comfortable with this, but seriously: I know that she would have wanted her friends to make use of what she could give them, and it's a way to honor her. So I encourage you to come check it all out, and take what you can use. Here is Susan's full announcement:
Back in September, Mistress Caitlin Davies (Jane Waks) had mentioned to some friends that she would love to hold a clothing swap. Unfortunately, she was not able to schedule that before her illness.

She has, however, left a *lot* of clothing, and Justin feels that rather than just giving it to Goodwill, that Jane’s clothes should be shared amongst all her friends. I have been helping him move and organize it, and will hold the Jane Waks Clothing Giveaway at my home in Wilmington, MA, on Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15. (These were the best dates I could come up with around all the events.)

There are racks and racks of clothes (16 and counting), and boxes and boxes of things as well – skirts, pants, and suit jackets; twin sets (in, I believe, every color that exists); sweaters; jeans; a few suits; more sweaters; work blouses, silk blouses, and casual shirts; yet more sweaters; T-shirts, sweatpants & sweatshirts, and still more sweaters – as well as two or three racks of shoes, purses, some costume jewelry, and perfumes. All of the clothing is in sizes from 10 to 18 (in those very accurate women’s sizes, meaning that if you are a size 12 or 14, you might fit into most of it *sigh*). Jane had excellent taste, and much of her clothing is from fine manufacturers – Jones New York and Ralph Lauren, as well as Lands End and Chicos. (A special invite goes to Wellesley alumni, as there are logoed shirts and hoodies.)

Ladies, please come to this Giveaway and bring an empty bag or three, to bring home things that suit your fancy. Although Jane had originally hoped to do a clothing *swap*, I ask that everyone plan only to take things *away* – I would be happy to organize a swap later, if people are interested, but for this weekend, as there is so much, I am concentrating on *giving away* only. Leftovers will go to charities, but we would like to give as much as possible to all Jane’s friends.

Remember also that Jane has always had cats, and the clothing will probably retain traces of cat fur.

Please mark your calendars, and I look forward to seeing everyone!

Saturday, May 14: 10:00 a.m. through 5 p.m.
Sunday, May 15: 12:00 through 5 p.m.

Note: Men are welcome to accompany their ladies on this adventure, but will be confined to the downstairs of our house, as the upstairs will be restricted so that ladies may try on outfits.

(Rather than posting directions to my house on a public forum, if you need directions, please email me at susan@crossert.com )

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I'm not comfortable with the idea of wearing her things but in lieu of taking anything for myself I would like to recommend at least one charity for the leftovers when it comes to that point. It would be great if the more professional items could go to places that specifically help women with job interviews and career wear, and not just to Goodwill or a more generic place. I'm also wondering if any of the gowns are in a youthful enough style to go to a charity helping girls who can't afford prom dresses.

I'm willing to take on researching and, if necessary, interfacing with the charities in question. I'm also available to provide snacks and moral support/man entertainment on the 14th (I have to work on the 15th).

Well, Susan's already well aware of Dress for Success (which quite a number of people have suggested); other concrete suggestions would be welcome...

They were the first one I had in mind for the career wear, and Belle of the Ball for the gowns. I'll do more research between now and then.

(Sorry if I'm being over pushy, I've been both the woman who could barely afford work clothes and the girl that couldn't afford a prom dress even at a thrift shop. It means more to me to see nice things go to people who wouldn't be able to have them, than to take them for myself.)

Well, for the gowns the likeliest outlet is the OES' own gown sales -- I gather that they have a "shop" that sets up at Grand Chapter and the like, which sells used gowns cheaply. That's very useful for young officers on a constrained budget. That seems the most apt place for the leftover gowns to go...

That's cool, I didn't know they did that. Probably the most appropriate use for them, yes.

I think it will be a lovely way to honor her, especially since it was her own wish.

I have an article of clothing given to me by a friend who passed away, and every time I wear it I think of her with great fondness.

I imagine that there might be a lot of laughter and good memories and stories shared at such an event. I would hope so.

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