BY: Jamil Khan
NEW YORK – The foundations of United Colors of Fashion (UCOF) have the ethos of giving embedded in them. The UCOF vision has always been reflective of the concept of paying it forward, and it is that vision that has assisted over 350 youth in the tri-state area since 2010. The work that UCOF does through its free fashion education Student Training Arts And Design (STAND) program, gives aspiring fashion professionals the exposure to and training in fashion they would not be able to get starting out in the industry.
Speaking of giving, Bruce Reynolds, a friend of UCOF, celebrated his birthday this week in New York and our President Ciano Clerjuste attended. Bruce has been a trusted advisor to the organization on many topics from business to fashion – which is ultimately his forté. Bruce was the correspondent for ABC’s “On The Red Carpet” where he has interviewed nearly every Hollywood celebrity and he often serves on fashion panels assessing the latest fashion and trends.
As is clearly evident from his resumé, when getting him a gift, his friends have to think long and hard to find something he doesn’t already have.
After hearing about the work that UCOF does and learning about our “Birthday Pledge” initiative, Meagan Redman decided to give her friend the gift of honor. In honor of Bruce and his talents, she used his birthday to make a donation to UCOF.
The UCOF birthday pledge is an initiative that makes charity easy. Year after year birthdays, holidays and special occasions are celebrated in grand style. UCOF gives the opportunity for celebrations to be had in honor of loved ones, while making a difference in the lives of those less fortunate. Via our website donations can be made in honor of any person or occasion. An example of a birthday pledge would be to let everyone celebrating the birthday donate a dollar in honor of every year of the persons life. So, if a friend is turning 25 everyone donates $25 to UCOF in lieu of gifts.
The thought in itself makes the whole occasion special, but the impact of that donation will ripple on through the lives of the interns at UCOF. As a 501(c)(3) organization who is committed to the cause of fashion education 100% of all donations are used to assist our students. The staff all volunteer their time and hence private donors, sponsors and the board of advisors fund the operating costs of UCOF.
This act of selflessness is another reminder of how much good the world still has in it. By the same token, we attract what we put out into the universe. Today we are grateful to both Bruce and Meagan for their generosity and we too honor our dear friend, and look forward to many more years of his assistance and counsel, in our endeavour to propel UCOF to greater heights.
Jamil Khan is a writer from Cape Town, South Africa. He has worked as an entertainment and features journalist as well as a creative consultant in a freelance capacity. He currently serves as the Press Editor and Coordinator for UCOF.