THE BLOG
09/11/2012 07:06 pm ET Updated Nov 11, 2012

In True Fashion, a Youth Entrepreneurial Nonprofit, Launches "Gotta Give" Campaign

"You gotta give. Why?" This is the question being posed to guests of the upcoming "Gotta Give" fundraiser event hosted by Los Angeles nonprofit In True Fashion. Launched in February of 2010 by luxury handbag designer Nancy Gale, In True Fashion is dedicated to empowering underprivileged youth.

Growing up, Gale was no stranger to the concept of volunteer work. Her mother, an active volunteer within her community, instilled in Gale the notion of giving, but with a clear distinction that giving differed from giving back. Seeking to abolish the notion that giving entails an act of reciprocity, Gale created a nonprofit organization to do just that -- give, to low-income youth. Gale has gone so far as to incorporate giving into her company JAMAH's business model. Integrating cause and commerce, Gale believes, is just one easy way of practicing what her mother so wholeheartedly preached.

But easy is far from how Gale would describe her initial attempts to "give." Years ago, when she first set out to volunteer, Gale encountered nothing but restrictions and limitations preventing her from participating. Frustrated by what she saw as purposeless red tape, Gale set out to create her own nonprofit organization with the promise of making it easy to give.

The daughter of two successful parents, Gale was raised in a home where just sitting at the dinner table was a lesson in entrepreneurship. Following her own success as an entrepreneur, she felt it important to impart that lesson to teenagers for whom that privilege did not exist. And so In True Fashion was born, a nonprofit program dedicated to fostering entrepreneurial thinking in low-income and otherwise underprivileged students. The In True Fashion program builds self-esteem, cultivates work ethic and imparts real-life business experience through hands-on participation, one-on-one mentorship and interaction with esteemed industry professionals. Abiding by Gale's own company's principle, In True Fashion promotes the value of products "Made in the USA." Above all, In True Fashion empowers today's youth to dream big.

This year, In True Fashion proudly presented its first scholarship to the organization's student spokesperson, 19-year-old Rigo Estrada. Ever eager to extrapolate on the ways in which it can give, In True Fashion was able to offer three students exclusive internships with one of the organization's biggest supporters, Virgin Produced. The company's CEO Jason Felts was one of last semester's most memorable in-class guest speakers.

Though In True Fashion's impact is targeted toward the students, the unanimous sentiment among mentors and guest speakers is that they wind up the ones inspired by the students for their courage in rising above their negative influences. Not a single mentor has heeded the program's "rule" (a term they use loosely) of volunteering a minimum of three times; they have all exceeded it. Most, in fact, attend every class session for the duration of the semester. This serves to prove that the feeling of gratitude created by the program is mutual. Therein lies the beauty of In True Fashion and the beauty of giving.

Keeping with In True Fashion's principle of making volunteering easy, the program is launching a campaign entitled "Gotta Give," the kickoff of which is set to take place at a fundraiser event on September 20. The event will be held from 6:30-10:00 p.m. at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica. The campaign encourages people to come as they are and give what they can. "Gotta Give" is inspired by the idea that giving, whether a personal or societal imperative, is essential to the betterment of society and the enrichment of humanity.

Prideful of the fact that they have successfully found a way to make high school fun, In True Fashion is seducing attendance to the event with the tease, "If we can make high school fun, imagine what we can do with a party?" With cocktails, appetizers, live music and a live auction, the event will commemorate the collaborative effort that has afforded In True Fashion its success, honor its supporters, celebrate its future and encourage the perpetuation of giving.

In True Fashion invites anyone with the inclination to give to attend. For more information about "Gotta Give" brought to you by In True Fashion, visit this website. Any questions regarding In True Fashion, the "Gotta Give" campaign or the "Gotta Give" event can be sent to questions@intruefashion.org.

In True Fashion is in partnership with Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and Environmental Charter Schools.

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In True Fashion, a Youth Entrepreneurial Nonprofit, Launches "Gotta Give" Campaign