Dress for Success Interview in OKC, Oklahoma
Lately, Choice Solutions Roofing and Exteriors, a top local roofer from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, has been taking short interviews with local non-governmental and non-profit organizations to promote them and their work. Their contribution to the local community is very significant, but their existence would be easier if they could get some financial help more often.
One among many different organizations is Dress for Success who is helping our local women to achieve economic independence. They are doing that through providing support, professional attire and development tools which are helping women to build a decent working career and personal life.
To begin with, we would like you to briefly tell us about your organization
The mission of Dress for Success is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.
- What do you do exactly? And what was the reason that encouraged you to start this organization?
Dress for Success Oklahoma City is a 501(c) organization that serves the disadvantage women in our local community. Our clients (women) are by referral only, from our Referral Agencies, and women must have an interview scheduled before receiving clothing. Our clients come to us from a continually expanding and diverse group of non-profit and government agencies including homeless shelters, immigration services, job training programs, educational institutions, government agencies and domestic violence shelters; among many other organizations. To learn about the disadvantage women in Oklahoma City, please visit the Who We Serve section.
While we may be best known for providing suits to women, it is our employment retention programs that are the cornerstone of the organization. To meet the need for services that would help women both find and keep jobs, we established the Professional Women’s Group (PWG) program, which offers women ongoing support as they successfully transition into the workforce, build thriving careers and prosper in the mainstream workplace. Once a woman joins the PWG she is a member for life, able to attend meetings at any affiliate throughout the world, and can benefit from additional employment retention and mentoring programs.
- What motivates you? Describe your mission passion
I have always lived with the philosophy of, “Why work to make other people rich, when you should be working to enrich others.” I am a believer in second chances and aiding women to reach a level of stability on their own. Its important for our community to support women, which our clients are mainly single mothers. We can eradicate the cycle of poverty if we help single mothers care for their children on their own stability. That only encourages her children to believe no matter your circumstance, you can persevere and still achieve your dreams.
- Tell us about your goals
Dress for Success Oklahoma City hopes we can reach every women in our community and assist them in achieving their dreams and be financially stable. A lot of the women we serve are single mothers and when you help one women, you help 3 or 4 future generations by the stability of the women.
- What was the hardest/toughest moment you had to deal with?
Obstacles you faced when dealing with bureaucracy, permits, funding, etc. Something you would like to point out to anyone who might be starting their own organization.
Funding is always the toughest part of funding of any nonprofit. Its hard for donors to give to something they don’t see an immediate success to. But when you are investing in people who are starting from nothing, you have to take the faith that your donation is going towards something bigger than you can see at the moment. We are fortunate enough that we are already seeing those successes so early on in this organization since it open its doors in May 2015.
- What was the most fulfilling moment that happened to you?
We get to hear the wonderful success stories of our clients and how they are working, providing for their children without any government assistance and most importantly they learned to love themselves again.
- What separates you from the rest? Why you?
We are an organization that makes our clients have accountability. Our purpose is to offer long-lasting solutions that enable women to break the cycle of poverty. Dress for Success is part of a global movement for change, empowering women to obtain safer and better futures.
We provide each client with professional attire to secure employment, but we are about much more than simply a new outfit. Besides physically equipping the client with apparel and accessories, our programs furnish her with a confidence that she carries forever and the knowledge that she can actively define her life, the direction she takes and what success means to her.
We have a Career Center that women can us for job searching, resume editing and to improve their typing skills. Every month we have a Professional Women’s Group (PWG) that our clients attend to learn about life skills, financial literacy, re-enrolling to go back to school and more. And this spring we are excited to launch our Success Scholars, a program unlike any other organization that rewards women in our PWG program scholarship money to obtain their associates or bachelors degree.
- Do you have any upcoming events in the forthcoming months?
We just wrapped our Gala on Nov 9th of this year already. We will have a spring fundraising event but no dates/time have been finalized. So stay posted.
- What is it that you love most about what you do?
We all get to be a team. Dress for Success has been able to help others only by the amazing team we have. We are partnered with other nonprofits and government agencies who are our referral agencies that send us clients who need our assistance. Our Board of Directors is an active hands-on team. Our staff and volunteers sort clothing, suit clients, organize the boutique and do the heavy lifting for our organization. Its a collaboration we are happy to be apart of.
- What is the biggest challenge you’re faced with today?
A continual challenge will always be funding. We our organization growing rapidly with the clients we help and launching our programs, we need to make sure we are getting the financial assistance to continue these vital programs.
- Anything else you would like to add? Contact: How can people reach out to you?
Your organization’s name, phone, address, e-mail and links to your website and social media
Thanks for separating your time on reading this short interview from your number one roofing company from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma!