Suit up for women’s charity
The Women’s Resource Center began its second annual “Send One Suit” clothing drive this Monday until Friday to collect gently used professional clothing for the local branch of “Dress for Success,” a national organization that collects and distributes professional style interview and work clothing for underprivileged women.
Professional suits and blouses on hangers, handbags and close-toed shoes can be dropped off this week at the Women’s Resource Center in room 279A in the University Center or at the University Career Services Center in Student Services Building 1, room 106.
Beverly McPhail, the director of the Women’s Resource Center, said that the center is targeting UH staff and faculty members.
“I find that our staff and faculty are very generous about contributing and wanting to help,” McPhail said. “Women are really happy to put their suits to good use and to know that they might benefit someone else.”
The Dress for Success program is very particular about the clothing they accept because they want the women they help to look nice, McPhail said.
“They really want gently worn suits — clean and on hanger, gently worn close toed shoes, blouses and nice handbags,” McPhail said. “They want everything that would be appropriate for an interview and work type situation.”
The organization works to make it seem as though the women are shopping at a store.
“Walking into Dress for Success is like walking into a retail store,” McPhail said. “The suits are all clean and on hangers.”
According to McPhail, the organization pampers the women and gives them advice on the cut and color of the suit they should select.
“They really work to make it a very pleasant environment,” McPhail said. “They want to treat the women specially and help them feel good about themselves.”
The organization also has scrubs, khakis and polo shirts on hand, in case of situations where a suit is not appropriate for a particular interview. If a woman is successful in her interview, the organization gives her another suit.
Students in need of a suit from the organization should contact McPhail at the Women’s Resource Center to be referred; the process takes less than 15 minutes.
The campus only sends about two to five women to the organization every year. UH students cannot call the organization directly.
“The young women that we send over give us really good reports. They are treated respectfully and they come away with great suits and confidence,” McPhail said. “Each suit is a lifesaver for a woman.”