Pictured: (from left to right) Ashley Deno, President Fashion Merchandising Club; Robert Quinones, Director of Student Life and Activities and Jill Donovan, Student Life Administrator at Brookdale Community College

LONG BRANCH, NJ – Students from Brookdale Community College’s Fashion Merchandising Club recently donated 200 formal dresses and gowns to the Long Branch Thrift Boutique of Family & Children’s Service (FCS)  whose mission is to serve people at vulnerable times in their lives through education, intervention, care and counseling. The donation was the result of a two-month collection drive organized by the club and supported by Brookdale’s Office of Student Life and Activities.

“Every club is required to do a community service project,” says Ashley Deno, President of the Fashion Merchandising Club. “We thought this project aligned well with our mission. We wanted to use our knowledge and skills to help others.”

The students began advertising for donations of new and gently-used formal wear in early April in hopes of collecting 50 dresses by the end of May. They quickly surpassed that goal, which led to a dilemma.

“They were storing the dresses in my office,” says Student Life Administrator Jill Donovan. “It didn’t take long to realize we would need more space.”        

Fortunately, the club was able to find a larger storage area on campus until Ashley, Jill and the Director of Student Life and Activities, Rob Quinones could deliver the 200-plus gowns to the Boutique. Proceeds from the sale of the dresses will be used to support FCS programs and services, including home care, homelessness prevention and child literacy.

The FCS Thrift Boutique sells new and nearly-new men’s and women’s clothing, shoes and accessories, as well as linens and household items. Donations are accepted during regular business hours. The Boutique is open from 12 pm to 5 pm Monday, 10 am to 5 pm Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 10 pm to 7 pm Wednesdays and 10 am to 4 pm Saturdays.  A complete list of items the store accepts and does not accept can be found on the agency’s website at www.fcsmonmouth,.org or on its Facebook page,  To volunteer at the Thrift Boutique, contact FCS volunteer manager Samantha White at 721-222-9111 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..