'Dress for Success' helps women suit up to get back into workforce

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by Tami Hoey

azfamily.com

Posted on August 29, 2013 at 11:27 AM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 3 at 9:54 PM

PHOENIX -- One Valley organization is lending a hand to women who are trying to get back on their feet in the business world.

Dress for Success Phoenix is a non-profit organization that provides professional attire for women to wear to job interviews, free of charge. Often, the group suits up 20 to 30 woman each week. "The stuff goes fast," says Lisa Doromal, Founder and President of Dress for Success Phoenix. "We are just running through that merchandise, so we need the community's help."

From now until Sept. 4, Dress for Success Phoenix is hosting a week-long community "suit drive". The effort will help hundreds of Valley women looking to get back into the workforce.

"Last year Dress for Success Phoenix suited over 1,000 clients, which was a 35 percent increase in total suitings from the year prior," says Doromal. "Thanks to our community referral agencies we have had the opportunity to suit a record number of women going back into the workforce every day. However, we now find ourselves very low on inventory of all kinds."

Under Dress for Success Phoenix's Suiting Program, the organization provides each woman (client) with one suit when she has a job interview.  When she successfully lands a job, she returns to Dress for Success for a week's worth of business appropriate separates. She also receives an invitation to join the Professional Women's Group, the organization's employment retention service program.

Dress for Success Phoenix is immediately seeking the donation of the following women's professional attire:
-Interview-appropriate skirt suits. Sizes and colors needed are: black, brown, navy and gray. And there's a high need for misses sizes 0,2,4,10,12,14,16 and 18.
-Interview-appropriate shoes, all sizes and same colors as above in pumps or flats only
-New hosiery
-Interview-appropriate blouses, all colors and sizes. Button downs, shells and plus-size greatly needed
-Twin sweater sets
-Petite plus-sized trousers and slacks, sizes 14WP, 16WP, 18WP, 20WP, 22WP, 24WP, 26WP, and 28WP

The organization takes a conservative approach when helping participants suit up. "Nothing too outrageous," says Doromal. "Remember, they're going into that interview, so they've got to look professional."

Clothing items are preferred to be on hangers and must be clean. All donations are tax-deductible.

In addition to the clothing donations, Dress for Success Phoenix is also inviting Valley businesses to host their own suit drive to benefit the organization.

The suit drive runs through Wednesday, September 4. You can drop off any donations at Dress for Success Phoenix. It's located in the Buckeye Commerce Center, at 1024 E. Buckeye Road, Suite 165, in Phoenix. You can also learn more about the organization online.

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