Posted on September 2, 2017 by AL Greater Placer Nuggets
by Julie Sage… and… Program Chair Judy Mecum
When someone feels good about what they are wearing, it raises their self-esteem and boosts their confidence level. A shopping experience at our Assistance League Thrift Shop, with your own personal shopper, makes you feel good!
Our Dressing for Success program, at the end of our 2017 Fiscal year, successfully provided 100 men and women with clothing to re-enter the workforce.
Judy Mecum, Committee Chair, shares her teams’ responsibilities and successes.
“This committee’s purpose is to provide appropriate clothing for people entering or re-entering the job market. Sometimes, when people have been out of work for a while, they need help outfitting themselves, and that’s what we do. We accept referrals from local agencies with which we have agreements, such as Placer County Employment Services, to outfit their clients from our Assistance League Thrift Shop. Most of these clients are helped on a one-on-one basis
Also, a couple of times a year, our Dressing for Success committee will host a class from Placer Adult School’s Office Professional Certification Program for the same purpose. This is where the committee members really have fun. For this event, we ask the students to come into the Thrift Shop on a Monday afternoon. Our shop is closed on Mondays, because our “back-room-girls” restock the merchandise on that day. They will generously finish early enough so our committee can host a group of 10-12 students for 2-3 hours, helping them find coordinating clothing pieces in which to interview for jobs, or simply wear to work. We can supply clothing for men and women, plus shoes, purses, and accessories.”
Judy details just one of the many stories of why the Dressing for Success program volunteers serve on the committee with such enthusiasm and dedication.
“On one occasion, a couple of years ago, we were hosting a group from Placer Adult School; all women this time. I asked the committee members to pair up with a student, and there was one left for me. She was a slim woman, who appeared to be trying to play down her femininity, dressed in grey sweats. I offered to help her.
We looked at various clothing. I took her to a rack where skirts were displayed, and found her a slim black pencil skirt, which I paired with a silver-grey tailored shirt. I asked her to try them on in one of our dressing rooms. She’d told me she was coming out of a domestic violence situation, and been referred to the class by one of our agencies.
When she came out, I stood her in front of the mirror. She looked great! By then, some of my colleagues had finished with their clients, and written up their finds. So, she had an audience to see how well she looked in her skirt and shirt. Suddenly, she had one person offering her a belt to try with the outfit, and another with a purse & shoes. Someone else offered a scarf. She began to feel like the star of the show. By the time she left us that day, she was standing proud. We were all very pleased we’d done such a good job. These are the rewards for what we do.”