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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Dress for Success

Happy Friday! Hope everyone has some great weekend plans in store.

I'm totally inspired by a meeting I went to last night, so I'm going to take a moment to tell you all about a fabulous organization!

For three years, through the Junior League, I worked with Dress for Success Boston (DFSB).

The mission of DFSB as stated on their website is:

"At Dress for Success Boston, our mission is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women. We do this by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life."
Pretty amazing, right? As a volunteer, I worked with clients who had interviews scheduled but nothing to wear, and unlike me when I wear the same outfit twice because I'm lazy, these women really don't have the right clothes to wear. Can't get a job if you don't have professional attire, and can't afford professional attire if you don't have a job. DFSB helps solve this by giving the women a suit (jacket and skirt or pants), a blouse, shoes, a purse, and accessories. The volunteers work with the women to help them find an outfit that's right for the interview, and they coach the clients a bit on how to dress in the work place. It's like shopping, but for a great cause.

The transformations the women make is incredible. Many of the women will have never worn a suit, and they come in pretty skeptical about it.There's an element of coaxing them out of their shell and helping them discover a side of them they've never seen before. It's an incredible moment when you see the woman look at herself in the mirror and discover confidence she didn't have before.

The support doesn't stop there! DFSB has a career center that helps with interviews, resume writing and computer skills. Plus, once a client gets a job, she can come back for a few more items of clothing to help her build a work wardrobe before her first paycheck. There's also a monthly Professional Women's Group that where experts come in to talk to the women about things like personal branding, tips for filing taxes, workplace etiquette, and so much more!

I'm very excited that the Boston affiliate is starting a Young Executives for Success (YES) program! I'm going to be a part of the committee and will talk about it more as it gets going. Basically it's going to be a series of events open to YES members that give everyone a chance to network. Members are required to volunteer at at least one DFSB event and make a $50 donation. So you benefit DFSB while getting to do fun activities around the city. Sounds pretty good to me!

If anyone is interested in learning more, just let me know and I can fill you in!

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