Giving is Always Fashionable

By Erin Epstein

Sisters Phoebe and Megan Stoeckel started Operation Dress Up in 2009.

Sisters Phoebe and Megan Stoeckel started Operation Dress Up in 2009.

In L.A. County, 16,000 homeless students lack basic necessities such as clothing. This staggering statistic motivated West Valley sisters Megan and Phoebe Stoeckel to launch their student-run nonprofit, Operation Dress Up, in 2009. The sisters will continue to give back by collecting new or gently used clothing at Spectrum Athletic Club – 22235 Sherman Way, Canoga Park – from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 20 All donations are delivered to homeless shelters and organizations that work directly with homeless youth.

“We do this to help underprivileged kids. The kids we help aren’t as lucky as we are,” says Phoebe Stoeckel. “We want to help with their education and their development. It’s just going through your closet and taking out clothes. Everyone can do it.”

The sisters try to hold a clothing drive once every season, but with Phoebe in college and Megan working, it has become a little bit more difficult. The girls rose to the challenge. During one summer, they could not arrange a clothing drive, so they went to local elementary schools to collect and donate lost-and-found items.

The girls’ passion and dedication has caused their organization to grow. The Stoeckels’ cousin in San Francisco began organizing a branch in the Bay Area, and Operation Dress Up now collects new books and school supplies in addition to clothing.

Spectrum Athletic Club in Canoga Park is doing its part for the cause by offering a 3-day pass valued at $75 to those making Operation Dress Up donations. Since childcare is offered at the club, entire families are welcome to participate.

Learn more at www.operationdressup.org.

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