A common ground of ideas brought two contemporary apparel shops together this holiday season in pursuit of a shared charitable goal: hosting a community clothing drive for youth in need throughout Ottawa.
The Common Concept Shop in Centretown and the Stomping Ground in the Glebe have joined forces to create what they call the Common Ground holiday clothing drive.
All items brought in for donation will go towards the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa —w a youth-focused, registered charity in the city.
The stores have received more than 500 pieces of clothing and footwear for the drive and expect more donations to come in as Christmas approaches.
Common Concept Shop employee Kevin Belanger said that the collaboration between the two stores is a unique way of giving back to the city, where many of the employees from both shops were born and raised.
“Not many clothing stores in Ottawa do this type of stuff, so it was good to get together and do an event like this,” Belanger said.
Both shops admire the work that the youth bureau has done for the city.
“This is the first time for us that we’ve done something with the Youth Services Bureau,” Belanger said.
“We chose them because they actually give the clothes to people in need and not just sell it per pound to a company.”
Patti Murphy, executive director at the YSB, said that the organization serves a variety of youth throughout the city, some street involved and some who are at risk of being homeless.
Their involvement with the drive is in helping to provide young people with age appropriate clothing that they will both want and need.
“That’s a really nice distinguishing factor in this type of clothing drive and it’s also extremely generous this time of year to have folks contribute,” Murphy said. “Both shops really wanted to do something that will result in giving clothing that youth need and will actually wear.”
Everyone in the community is welcome to drop off donations at either store.
For every five pieces of clothing a person donates, they will receive a ballot for a draw to win one of three prizes put together by both shops, which will take place Dec. 18 during the clothing drive finale at the Common Eatery on Elgin Street.
Murphy said that the YSB is also involved with helping to promote the event through social media, keeping their partner organizations informed about community initiatives.
Josh Chambers, an employee at Stomping Ground, said he’s enthusiastic about the impact of his store’s collaboration with the Common Concept Shop, showcasing the camaraderie between the two businesses.
“For the holidays, we feel like it’s important to be involved in the community on more than just providing a place for people to shop,” Chambers said. “We all have things in our closet that still has tons of life and can go to someone who can get use out of it.”
He believes that the event will be a great doorway into future collaborations and with the early success of this drive, it could easily become an annual event.