The Issue: Job Seekers in Need of Professional Attire
Many men and women who have faced challenges such as homelessness, domestic violence, substance abuse, and poverty need help acquiring the sort of interview-appropriate attire needed to secure employment. That’s where Working Wardrobes steps in, providing clients with professional clothing as well as job-placement assistance. But there’s a gender gap. Though men represent 60% of the group’s clients, about 80% of the clothing donated to the organization is intended for women.
The Campaign: Providing Professional Accessory Packages to Men Seeking Employment
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by Working Wardrobes to provide professional accessory packages—including a pair of shoes, a belt, and a tie—to job seekers who need them. For every $85 raised, the organization can provide a client with one package.
In 1990, Jerri Rosen and five friends gathered clothing and accessories to give to survivors of domestic violence at an event they called “Day of Self-Esteem.” Rosen and company weren’t prepared for the outpouring of appreciation and the degree to which their single act of kindness would affect the lives of both clients and volunteers. Seeing that there was a true need for professional clothing among women seeking employment, the group went on to serve 67 clients in that first year alone—and Working Wardrobes was born. Eventually, the organization widened its scope to include men and began offering job-placement services and career training programs.
Today, Working Wardrobes helps more than 5,000 clients enter the workforce each year. Men and women facing any sort of challenge—alcohol and substance abuse, homelessness, the transition from military to civilian life—can turn to the organization for help. At the 16,500-square-foot facility in Costa Mesa, they’ll find trained personal shoppers as well as regular career training workshops. The long list of awards the group has won includes the 1998 Bank of America Award for Vision in Philanthropy and the 2008 Making a Difference for Women Award from Soroptimist International of Huntington Beach.
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