Despite the obstacles of the last year, the Sandy Springs-based Dress for Success Atlanta chapter helped more than 800 women receive professional attire for interviews and learn the skills needed to land and retain a job. Since its inception in New York in 1997, the global organization has empowered more than 1.2 million women to achieve economic independence.
“Every woman we take out of poverty brings six others with her,” says Executive Director Susan Bonds-McCulloch. “It impacts the whole community by providing purchasing power.”
Board member Claudia Nowak, co-owner of Hal’s in Buckhead, focuses on fundraising and events. “Despite the necessity for a totally virtual event, we were thrilled to raise $100,000, the same amount we raised in 2019,” she says. “DFS is particularly important now because so many more women need help.”
In past years, women who were referred through the organization’s agency partners were fitted for two outfits. “They were also offered workshops, advice from professional women and additional services once they landed a job,” says Bonds-McCulloch. “Those who attended our six- to eight week course had a 90% success rate of getting and keeping jobs.” Currently, volunteers select and bag clothing specifically based on a woman’s size and the jobs she is applying for. Since the office is closed to clients, women pick up the clothes and take classes online.
“If organizations want to help, we need fundraisers rather than clothing drives,” says Bonds-McCulloch.
For more information, visit atlanta.dressforsuccess.org.
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