Meet the local force of nature behind Fitting for the Future

  •  Noryn Resnick finds out attendees' sizes in advance to ensure there are tons of sparkly and practical options. (You can drop off donations for next year's event now at TD Bank in Northampton.)  Staff Photo/Kevin Gutting

  • “Most are so focused on survival,” said event organizer and HelpOurKids founder Noryn Resnick. “Here they can unfold and relax.” Staff Photo/Kevin Gutting

Published: 6/6/2019 1:13:11 PM

Dear friends,

For the last five years, Noryn Resnick of Amherst, who founded a nonprofit called Help Our Kids that supports children and teens living in foster care, has organized a day-long makeover event called Fitting for the Future.

At the event, teens and young adults are invited to “shop” for free clothing for proms, job interviews, school banquets, graduations and other special events — events they might not feel comfortable attending because they lack dress clothes.

Many teens have called the event “the best day of my life,” and that feedback, Resnick says, is what keeps her going. She spends all year collecting donations to ensure that there are abundant — and desirable — options for everyone who attends. (You can drop off suits, gowns, heels, purses, etc at TD Bank on Main Street in Northampton.)

By all accounts, the best part of the day is the way the volunteers — from personal shoppers to cosmetology students to people making alterations on sewing machines — make the teens feel. “I loved my personal shopper,” wrote one participant afterward. “The people here made me feel really great about myself,” wrote another. Others cited “attentive, amazing” volunteers who were “kind, helpful and accepting.”

Some of the local Hampshire County teens who attended the event did not want to be interviewed for this story because they didn’t want people to know they were in foster care. I understood that response completely. I also felt so devastated imagining kids carrying shame for something that’s out of their control and not their fault. “They want to feel that they are not forgotten,” said Resnick, who also works to provide children in foster care with music lessons and sporting equipment.

She noted that Luis Fieldman, who wrote this week’s cover story, “got it.” Yep. I sit next to Fieldman in the newsroom and am continually impressed by the low-key but direct way that he conducts interviews. Especially on difficult topics. In this case, and as is often the case, he didn’t just get it, he got it right.







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