DES MOINES, Iowa — Earlier this year we covered the pop-up shop for a local charity, Dress For Success, held to help disadvantaged women find clothes for job interviews. Last week they celebrated reaching the goal of suiting 500 women in the metro area.
Executive Director and co-founder Jody White said helping even one woman can go a long way.
“They say once you help one woman find a job, you take her and five others with her out of poverty. So that could be her children, her family, just when you can help really just help a woman with the first steps to find that job and to obtain that job. That’s really what our goal here,” Jody White said.
Since the inception of Dress For Success, the organization has helped around 2,000 women not only get jobs but retain them as well. As the clientele has grown so has the mission. Now it’s not only about finding employment but also helping these women reach their dreams and become civic leaders in the community. An example of this is their client, Angela Fullmer. Fullmer came to Dress For Success a few years ago after her family lost it all in a house fire.
“So I came to Dress for Success and I thought I was just getting an outfit, and instead I got support. They gave me jewelry, makeup everything I needed to feel confident for the interview,” Fullmer said.
With the help of Dress for Success, Fullmer got a full-time job as a senior caretaker and has been employed ever since. However, it didn’t stop there. Now Fullmer attends their Women’s Professional Group every Thursday and does community action projects with Dress for Success, lending a helping hand to more women in need in the metro area. Being so involved with the Women’s Professional Group also led Fullmer to fulfill her dreams of creating a book, which was published this November. White said stories like Fullmer’s are exactly why they love what they do.
“It’s such a joy for us here at Dress for Success to see those women that have a goal and obtain a goal, and what we can do to help best give them the platform and put their best foot forward,” White said.
If you want to donate to or volunteer at Dress for Success, you can give money, clothes, accessories or your time. You can find more instructions on their site, desmoines.dressforsuccess.org.