Monday, December 2, 2013

The magic in giving

I remember the first time I took a rather large clothing donation to a local women's shelter (I usually call Salvation Army or some other type of charitable agency and request a curbside pick up). I rang the doorbell and a woman answered, eager to help me unload my trunk. She was extremely excited and I couldn't quite put my finger on why. As the last bag was being carried inside, she looks at me up and down and asks "Are all of these clothes yours? Where they all worn by you?" It finally dawned on me that she was asking if they were all plus sizes. I told her that all the clothing was between a size 12-20 and she gushed about the difficulty the shelter has in clothing more than half of the women there. Since that day, I made sure that all my clothing donations went to a women's shelter.
Being a social worker, I am very familiar with the struggles women living in a shelter face: raising children, battling homelessness, possibly addiction, employment issues and the list goes on. Now imagine having to go out on job interviews/career fairs with absolutely nothing professional to wear.

Insert Working Wardrobes, a program geared towards "empowering men, women, veterans and young adults overcoming difficult challenges to confidently enter the workforce and achieve self-sufficiency. We provide career assessments, skills training, career development services, job placement assistance and professional wardrobes in an environment of dignity and respect."
When the marketing intern for Working Wardrobes reached out to me, this statement stood out: "Our wardrobing services specifically are propelled by generous donations from Southern California residents and local retailers. However, because 65% of our clients are plus size and we don’t receive as many pieces in those sizes as we do regular sizes, we often find ourselves unable to properly dress our plus size clients." 

This is where you lovely readers come in; after all its the holidays and what better gift to give than empowerment, self respect and accomplishment? You can donate either through Working Wardrobes or their sister site, Hanger Boutiques. I have a ton of work friendly items that I will be personally donating and currently recruiting items from friends and family. We all have a blazer or pair of trousers that are either too big or small, that we know we'll never wear again. Why not gift that to someone in need?
'Tis the Season!



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