When considering how I wanted to "give back," I knew that I did not just want to throw money at a cause. I wanted to get involved in my own community.
Two years ago, I learned about a local nonprofit organization called Success in Style, founded by mother of nine Jeannette Kendall, which helps women trying to get back into the workforce by providing professional attire for job interviews and their first few days on the job.
Initially, I could only volunteer on Saturdays and sort through donations of clothing from business women in the area. My guidance was to keep only the best for our clients so that when they walk out they feel special, fashionable and beautiful. I could tell that the women who donated felt good knowing their contributions of clothing, shoes and accessories were going to local women.
When my schedule allowed me to assist clients, I was able to participate personally in the process of changing the lives of women looking for a new start, as well as the lives of children many of them support. The women who come to Success in Style are referred by local social agencies. Their reasons these women need help vary. Some are coming out of abusive relationships, some are new to the area and needing work to support their families, and others are looking for their first jobs. These women are of all ages, sizes and personalities. The agencies have helped them with job-skills training, résumé preparation, interview skills and job leads. When they come to Success in Style, the focus is on getting them professional attire so that their appearance allows them to capitalize on these new skills and give them the confidence to be successful.