Recently, a very chic and philanthropic group of LIM College students showed up to class in head to toe black formal wear. Although they might have seemed out of place compared to the rest of the students, they were filled with anticipation for the opportunities and fabulous atmosphere the night ahead of them promised. These LIM Philanthropy Club members had been given the opportunity to volunteer at the Mercado Global's Fashion Forward Annual Gala to benefit impoverished women in Guatemala.
When we arrived the venue was buzzing with excited energy as the waitstaff carried in velvet couches and the event coordinators directed the decorations and catering poured in the front door. Not only were the LIM College students able to help in preparing the visuals and technicalities of this event, but they also worked registration, the silent auction, and the afterparty.
As the night went on, a stream of honored guests came in dressed in gorgeous gowns and suits to enjoy the festivities, mull over the silent auction, and listen to the heartfelt testimonies of the founder of Mercado Global and a worker from Guatemala. Alexis Bittar, who was one of the honorees. The final donations came pouring in and the event finished off with an upbeat afterparty, complete with a spunky DJ, ice cream-waffle desserts, and a ton of laughter.
Sara Pressman, the Institutional Partnerships Coordinator at Mercado Global, kindly thanked the volunteers by stating, “All in all, together we raised $141,361 to fund our market access and education programs, bringing opportunity and hope to women that need it most. Thank you for volunteering your time on Wednesday evening make this possible!"
Its opportunities like this one that combines community service with LIM’s fashion perspective that are so unique to the urban environment of New York City. Through the Philanthropy Club, Mercado Global has been able to build a connection with our students and educate them further on how fashion can be used to bring opportunities to those in need.