Peter Mitchell, Channel 7 - Clothes4U Men’s ShopMarch 2019
Peter Mitchell, Mornington Peninsula Leader
March 8, 2019 4:30pm
Mitch Matters: Clothes4U charity volunteers helping disadvantaged provide more than just clothes
We all know the Mornington Peninsula has so many attractions, I would struggle to list them all in this column. And yet, despite everything our region has to offer, we are not immune from a complex problem that is getting worse all around the world. It’s the plight of our homeless.
For many reasons there are many rough sleepers on the Mornington Peninsula. The good news is that our region has also produced a dedicated band of volunteers willing to help these disadvantaged people.
A fortnight ago I was invited to cut the ribbon at the grand opening of a special clothing store in Rosebud. Inside, it looks like any reputable department store, with racks and racks of high quality clothes, shoes and accessories. But for the clients who walk through the shop’s doors, it’s strictly invitation only.
After establishing a similar store for disadvantaged women five years ago (which has since helped around 50 women a month), this remarkable group of predominantly retired women set their sights on providing the same for those men in our region who for many reasons, and not always of their doing, have fallen on hard times.
At the grand opening of Clothes4U, just a stone’s throw from the Rosebud Cinema, I recalled the recent story of the hairdresser in Melbourne who offered to wash a homeless man’s straggly hair and beard, and to give him a trim. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing.“You want to do that for me?”; he said, incredulously. He took up the offer and was completely transformed, almost unrecognisable from his former appearance.
This random act of kindness gave the man a new found confidence. It didn’t give him a home, or possessions, or money, but a feeling of self-esteem that was priceless. It restored his faith in society and from a deep, dark place he was able to take steps towards helping himself.
The wonderful people at Clothes4U serve the same role as that hairdresser. Their mission is a simple one — to provide quality clothing, accessories, toiletries and more to disadvantaged people on the Mornington Peninsula. The people in need are referred to Clothes4U by a number of local agencies. Their service is free and their clients get to keep all the items they are given. The security and stability that a child or an adult can receive from items of clothing that many of us take for granted, can be profound. These are more than clothes for everyday wear, or for a court appearance, or a job interview or clothing for a special occasion. These are clothes for confidence, for self-esteem and for restoring their faith in society. This vital service, which is a registered charity, becomes even more important when our region is gripped by the depths of winter.
The local council should be commended for providing the Rosebud premises for a very modest rental fee. It’s also hoped the current one-year rental term will receive a major extension.
None of this would be possible were it not for the driving force of Clothes4U founder and president Veronica Whittaker. Veronica and her team of volunteers are a truly remarkable group. They have created all of this out of thin air. All the items in the store are donated and local builder Geoff Taylor superbly fitted out the interior for free.
These people with huge hearts are trying to make us a better and more responsible community.
Clothes4u Men- Official Opening Of Men's ShopFebruary 2019
It was an honour to have Peter Mitchell open the shop – thank you so much for your support! Also, a huge thank you to SMART Business Solutions for their generous $1000 donation. Thank you to the leaders from foundations, organisations and agencies who have always supported Clothes4U and Councillors from the Mornington Peninsula Shire who took time out of their busy schedules to attend.
And of course thank you to all the volunteers who helped make the event a success and keep Clothes4U running – we couldn’t do it without you!
Volunteer Appreciation AwardNovember 2018
Clothes4U received a Volunteer Appreciation Award from the Honourable Greg Hunt MP at a ceremony last week!
President Veronica and Secretary Barb accepted the award on behalf of Clothes4U!
Gregory Hunt (MP), Veronica Whittaker (C4U President, Barbara Fox (C4U Secretary)
Styling PresentationOctober 2018
Clothes4U were treated to a very fun & informative styling presentation by Gloria from Your Style Mentor !
She taught us all about body shape and colour so we can improve our styling skills for our clients.
Thank you Gloria for the wonderful presentation.
Gloria (Your Style Mentor), Gloria and Liz (C4U Volunteer)
Clothes4U Trivia NightOctober 2018
Revamped JewellerySeptember 2018
Clothes4u received a generous donation of some lovely jewellery pieces from Revamped Jewellery Boutique.
Revamped Jewellery is a not for profit organisation collecting funds to support women’s charities locally and internationally.
Thank you ladies for a lovely day and it is great we can collaborate with such a great organisation.
Visit their stall at Bentons Square Community Centre, 145 Bentons Rd, Mornington, Victoria. The stall hours are 10.00-15.00 Tuesdays.
Beautiful ScarvesAugust 2018
Thank You Sophie
Sophie is a Year 9 student from Balcombe Grammar School
For a community based project, she hand-made 25 beautiful scarves which she presented to Clothes4U. We couldn’t be more grateful
Sophie interviewed our wonderful volunteer Charmaine to gain an insight into exactly what Clothes4U does and what issues we face on the Mornington Peninsula.
Thank you Sophie for being so interested and helping to raise awareness about Clothes4U!
Country Womens AssociationJune 2017
C4U had the pleasure of meeting members of the Country Women’s Association of Balnarring when our President Veronica gave a presentation outlining the services of C4U. The ladies asked lots of questions and were extremely interested in hearing about the circumstances of our clients lives.
They donated lots of clothes and toiletries which will be used in our boutique. They also gave us a financial donation, which was quite unexpected. Their generosity was oustanding.
Although the CWA women may never come into contact with our clients, they will impact their lives with their kind donations. We invited them to drop into our boutique and see first-hand what we do.
Veronica Whittaker (C4U President) with Cathryn Hart (CWA Balnarring President);
Shirley St George (Marketing Manager C4U) with Veronica Whittaker (C4U President) showing off the generous donation from Balnarring Dental care www.bdental.com.au
Shirley St George (Marketing Manager C4U) with Veronica Whittaker (C4U President) and Cathryn Hart (CWA Balnarring President) during the presentation.
The generous clothing donations given to us by the CWA ladies. Thank you so much for your kindness.
Greg Hunt VisitJune 2017
On 2nd June 2017, The Honorable Greg Hunt MP, Federal Member for Flinders, Minister for Health and Sport, visited our boutique in Rosebud. We recently received a unique grant from his department allowing us to be reimbursed for essential items purchased. For example it was essential we install split-system heating. We were also able to reimburse petrol money to volunteers who had travelled on behalf of C4U. Prior to this grant, volunteers paid out of their own pocket with no expectation of repayment. Finding a grant for small Not-for-Profit organisations such as C4U is difficult, as quite often grants are geared to larger charities. The Minister was extremely interested in what we do and advised his assistant that:
“They are the most amazing group of women and the most generous of women. We are so fortunate to have these women in our electorate… “
To assist us in gaining more exposure, the Minister is telling our story in his monthly newsletter. We are also in receipt of a coffee maker donated by the Minister.
Barbara Fox (secretary);
Erica McDonough (C4U Vice-President);
Minister Greg Hunt;
Veronica Whittaker (C4U President);
Anne Pollard (C4U Boutique Manager) trying out the new coffee machine.
Rye Ladies Probus ClubMay 2017
On 15th May 2017 Veronica addressed a large gathering from the Rye Ladies Probus Club. Veronica outlined the work of Clothes4U. She made the audience aware of what we do for our clients and the various programs that are in operation. The presentation was well received and members of the audience were very complimentary about the work being done by our organisation.
Sausage SizzleMay 2017
Clothes4U Sausage Sizzle held on Saturday, 13 May at Bunnings, Rosebud.
We hold two of these a year and they are great fund-raisers for our organisation, enabling us to further assist our clients.
Big thanks to Bunnings for their community efforts.
International Womens Breakfast
International Women’s Day has been observed from the early 1900’s, which was a time of great change in the Industrial world. It commemorates the struggle for women’s rights, each year they celebrate a different theme, this year the theme is ‘Be Bold For Change‘.
Prior to the day C4U dressed 11 bold Tootgarook Primary School women who were about to celebrate International Women Day in great style. You will see from the photos how wonderful these women looked.
They should feel very proud of themselves for a number of reasons.
Not so long ago they got together and came up with a wonderful idea – ‘The Lunch for Everyone Program‘. Once a week they cook lunch for a whole primary school which includes children, teachers and parents. All they ask is a gold coin donation, although if that’s not possible, no one will be turned away without a meal. These women obtained a grant to set up their project and it has turned out to be a massive success.
C4U was extremely proud to dress these creative women.
This is a fine example of what women can do when they see a need and find a way to address it. None of the group had any previous experience in this area however they were able to work it out. A lesson for us all.
If more women got together in solidarity with others, many community problems could be solved at a local level.
This is the power of women.
Make up artistry for the mature woman
Thank you to Sharon from Full Bloom Make Up for the wonderful demonstration at the Clothes4U boutique. Special thank you to our ‘before’ and ‘after’ models, Judy and Susan.
If anyone is interested in arranging a private demonstration please check the web site,
Grand Opening with Rosie Batty!
The official opening of our Boutique, April 2015, with Rosie Batty – a campaigner against domestic violence towards women and Australian of the Year 2015.
Many of you will have heard Rosie Batty’s story. Her son Luke was murdered by his own father at cricket practice.
It was a horrifying event that captured the attention of the entire nation. Soon after, Rosie spoke passionately about the need to address family violence.
Since then Rosie has made it her mission to lift the burden from victims and make family violence every Australian’s business.
“If Luke hadn’t died in such an extreme way, I’d just be one of those ‘family violence’ people no one listens to”. Rosie Batty
Rosie started the Luke Batty Foundation so her son Luke did not die in vain. Now she is asking Australians to stand with her beside every victim.
Please stand with Rosie and the Never Alone campaign.
Information taken from…
Beyond the law- Dressing up
RACV Good Citizen Programme
“Happy Days” at Clothes4u Rosebud due to the RACV Good Citizen Program.
We were honored to meet at our Boutique for morning tea the RACV Cape Schank resort manager Mr Conleth Roche and his lovely assistant Helen. They presented us with a cheque for a very generous financial contribution.
We are so grateful for this donation as it will help us to continue to support the women and girls in our community.
Thank you so much!