Mitzvot from the Heart: Madison Marks

Madison Marks held a clothing drive and styling event for her mitzvah project. 

Madison Marks | United Hebrew Congregation

Madison’s love for fashion started early in life. When she was just 9 years old, she purchased her first sewing machine and learned to sew. From there she began creating her own fashions and started Clutches for Cancer.

The inspiration behind Clutches for Cancer was Madison’s former Sunday school teacher, Suzi Tozer, who was suffering from cancer at the time. Madison was inspired by her positive energy and attitude and she wanted to do something in her honor. For over a year she made purses, sold them to friends and family and donated $300 to the American Cancer Society. 

Daughter of Melanie and Jonathan Marks of Chesterfield, Madison still loves fashion and said she believes it is a creative outlet. Wearing her favorite custom fashions makes her feel good. For her mitzvah project she wanted to help other girls her age feel the same way. So, in cooperation with ReSource, Madison held a clothing drive and styling event. 

ReSource, a part of the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition, considers itself a clothing closet for children in foster care. It offers free clothing to children up to age 12 and is reserved for foster/adoptive families only. 

Madison used Facebook to reach out to family and friends requesting items for her event. She also advertised on the ReSource website for girls ages 12 and under to make their appointment. On that special day she organized all 70 dresses by size, and made sure everything was labeled for the kids to see, including the shoes and accessories she collected. 

Twelve girls came to the event and were allowed to take home as many dresses as they liked. Madison styled them and watched as their eyes lit up while looking in the mirror. “My favorite part was watching the girls come in that were timid and shy and then beam with happiness once they were styled in their new outfits,” she said. “They all felt beautiful and special.”

Katie Mohr, director of ReSource, said that she liked how Madison, who attends Parkway Central Middle School, combined her love of fashion with a need to help others.