Fashion and philanthropy are coming together for a fun event this week.
Cincinnati Union Bethel, the longest running social service agency in Cincinnati will be hosting Step & Style for Off the Streets at Macy’s downtown. This agency has three programs: Early Childhood Education with three Head Start preschools, which prepare 3-5 year olds for kindergarten, the Anna Louise Inn, which provides safe and affordable housing for women and Off the Streets, which provides services for abused and prostituted women.
The Off the Streets program gives young women the tools they need to gain safety, recovery, self-empowerment and community engagement. Focus areas include emergency needs, housing, medical care, mental health, substance abuse, education, and employment. Back in 2006, Cincinnati Union Bethel became the lead agency and the first group of women who joined the program.
Cincinnati Union Bethel and Macy’s are teaming up for an event, called “Step & Style,” this Thursday, Nov. 12. “The shopping experience is fantastic,” says Tracy Megison, Marketing Communications Manager of Cincinnati Union Bethel. “Everything in the store has a 20% discount including designer brands. Additional discounts are available on many items that are already on-sale. Plus, guests can shop four full hours from 6-10pm during this private event.”
It’s more than just a shopping event, though. “This event is not just about shopping, but it is to give hope to women for a second chance at a better life,” Megison says of the fourth-annual event. “The women who participate in the program see a huge need for it.”
According to Megison, the program typically helps women 18 to 57 years old, with the average age being 35. One program testimonial includes a story from a young woman, Valerie. Valerie lived in abandoned buildings, abused heroin, and was involved in prostitution for more than 11 years. After being arrested, she asked her judge to sentence her to Off the Streets.
During her time in the program, she was connected to medical care and began attending 12-step meetings. Today, she is living in her own apartment and is studying graphic design in college. She has maintained a 4.0 GPA through her first two years and regularly visits Off the Streets to offer encouragement to new women entering the program.
Megison says this story and others will inspire the attendees of Step & Style. In addition to the great cause and shopping discounts, attendees will also enjoy hors d’oeuvres and drinks from Jeff Thomas Catering and live jazz music from Billy Larkin. The fashion show will feature local guest models and one Off the Streets graduate with a fresh new look with fashions from Macy’s. There will also have a raffle including a ruby and diamond pendant and a weekend lease of a new Lexus.
The event takes place Nov. 12 from 6-10pm at Macy’s Fountain Place, located at 505 Vine Street in Cincinnati. All proceeds benefit the Off the Streets program. To learn more, and to register, click here. Tickets will also be available for purchase at the door.