Fashion and compassion will work hand-in-hand next week when Barrington High School students present "Hope's In Style," a charity fashion show to help a Guatemalan family rise up from squalor.
All proceeds from the event will go to the Potter's House Association to build a home for 8-year-old Monica Morales and her seven family members living in the Guatemala City garbage dump.
The show is from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24, at the Garlands Center for The Performing Arts, 1000 Garlands Lane in Barrington.
The idea for the show was born when Barrington High School junior Courtney Quigley interned for a month in Guatemala with Potter's House, an organization that helps more than 11,000 people currently living in garbage dump communities in the Central American nation.
During her work there this past summer, Quigley was captivated by Monica, whose resilient personality astonished her.
Monica and her family live in a 9-foot by 10-foot tin shack in the dump. The conditions are such that children and parents are waked nightly by large rats that try to bite them as they sleep.
For newborn babies, such as Monica's niece who lives with her, rat bites can be deadly.
"The conditions that Monica and her family live under are unimaginable in our community, yet prevalent in theirs," Quigley said. "Hope's In Style is an amazing event for our community to get involved with, because this fashion show can dramatically change the lives of an entire family."
Quigley began working with Potter's House last summer to have the Morales family approved as a candidate for a new house. The project was approved in the fall.
With the help of her sisters, Ashley and Chloe, Courtney has enlisted 17 Barrington High students who are working as off-site "stylists" to design outfits for children and adults who live alongside the Morales family in Guatemala.
At the Feb. 24 fashion show, volunteer models will showcase the designs, incorporating clothing from local boutiques as well as original pieces created by the student stylists. The audience will vote on the best stylist-model team.
Tickets are $35 for the general public and $20 for students. They are available through the mail, by making out a check payable to "Hopes In Style," and sending it to 220 Weatherstone Road, Barrington, IL 60010.
Tax-deductible donations and sponsorships also are being accepted. All donation checks should be made payable to Potter's House and can be sent to the same address.
For more information or to get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find Hope's in Style on Facebook and follow on Twitter at @Hopes In Style. For details on Potter's House, go to www.pottershouse.org.gt.