Clothing drive helps women dress for success

The Women’s Resource Center is participating in the Dress for Success’ week-long suit drive to collect clothing for low-income women in the job market.

Beginning Monday, donors can drop off items from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at either the WRC or Student Services Center 1.

Dress for Success is an international non-profit organization devoted to improving the lives of women everywhere.’

They provide clothing and support to low-income women so they are able to obtain a successful career.

‘We have always been a referring agency sending people over to Dress for Success, but this will be the first year that (we) will be participating in their suit drive,’ WRC Director Beverly McPhail said.

The suit drive will be accepting specific items for their cause such as professional women’s suits (pants or skirts), interview appropriate shoes in conservative colors, interview appropriate blouses, black and brown handbags, unopened pantyhose and scarves.

‘We are focusing more towards faculty and staff to get the items,’ McPhail said. ‘This is not the time to clean out people’s closets. I don’t know if so much as students will participate in this.’

Students may donate to the cause, and those who are in need are invited to take advantage of the event.

‘Students (who fit the criteria) should know that they can come to me, and I can hook them up with the agency to get the suit,’ McPhail said.

Dress for Success is selective of whom they help.

‘(The criteria is) low-income students who are graduating, or have a job interview or have an interview for an internship or are attending a career fair. If they have some of those stipulations they can come to me,’ McPhail said.’ ‘You can’t just go straight to the agency. We are the referring agency, so we fill out forms and send it over (to Dress for Success) and they can help you get a suit.’

The organization is also committed to providing women a great fashion experience while they are looking at suits they need for their interviews.

‘The place is set up like a shop.’ It’s clean and organized,’ McPhail said.’ ‘The people are very dedicated to fashion and clothes.

‘They get a one-on-one volunteer and the volunteer helps them pick out the suit, pearls, a handbag and shoes so they can be completely dressed for the interview.’

If a recipient needs more clothes after the first suit, they have an opportunity for them to go back to the organization.

‘They also have this thing called the second suit,’ McPhail said. ‘If you go through the program and you wear a suit to the interview and you get the job, you can go back and get a second suit because you can’t wear the same suit to work.’

Students can volunteer to help Dress for Success with its mission.

‘If students are really into fashion and clothes they can be volunteers and help women pick out clothes,’ McPhail said.

On April 4, the organization will hold a Super Sort Saturday and is asking for volunteers to sort items.

The event is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and of volunteers can work all or part of the day. Lunch will be served.

Volunteers can RSVP with Dress for Success by visiting their Web site at

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