Ask the Experts: Costume Donations

Q: I have a lot of old costumes that I’ve accumulated over the years. Do you know of any organizations that would welcome a big costume donation? I’d feel better knowing the costumes were going to a good cause, rather than just sitting in a thrift store.

A: At our studio, we donate costumes and dancewear to the local Boys & Girls Club. They are very appreciative and use the items for students to be able to participate in various theater productions and dance classes. See bgca.org to find a club in your area.

We also reached out to our colleagues for ideas. They recommend contacting community theaters, nonprofit dance and theater programs for disadvantaged youth or after-school programs. Or try public schools: They love donations because they often don’t have the budget for extras. Find out what public schools in your area have dance programs and get in touch with the dance teachers. They’ll be able to tell you what they need and want for their students. You can also connect with daycare centers or preschools who may use costumes for playing dress-up.

Not sure what to do with an entire class’ worth of costumes? Dancedonations.org accepts ballet, jazz, tap, modern, lyrical and hip-hop costumes in children and adult sizes, for either gender. In conjunction with Connecticut Ballet, Dancedonations.org has identified organizations in the tristate area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut that accept donations for their students who cannot afford to purchase costumes. To learn how you can donate costumes, or if you are an organization in need of costumes, visit dancedonations.org.

Kathy Blake is the owner of Kathy Blake Dance Studios in Amherst, New Hampshire. She and Suzanne Blake Gerety are the co-founders of DanceStudioOwner.com.

 Photo by B Hansen Photography, courtesy of Suzanne Blake Gerety

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