Dress for Success Central Alberta has received a $30,000 grant from the Red Deer and District Community Foundation (RDDCF) to fund a part-time fund development and operations coordinator.
With the help of this donation, Dress for Success Central Alberta will be better positioned to support the growing needs for their services.
“Many women who come are referred by an agency and are job searching. These women are women who really need our help,” said Dagmar Hargreaves, board chair for Dress for Success.
Clients referred to the charity are women in the central Alberta community who are looking to secure employment opportunities, but who might need support to access a professional wardrobe suitable for job interviews and their first week of employment.
She says everyone knows that even if you have the right skills, you’re less likely to get the job if you’re not dressed appropriately for your interview. This can be a barrier and a financial burden that the charity removes for their clients.
“With recent impacts to our economy, we’ve observed a significant growth in the need for our services and we’re very pleased to receive this support from the Community Foundation,” said Hargreaves.
The fund development and operations coordinator will help support a more sustainable fundraising model for the organization and will also coordinate the scheduling of their many volunteers. Up until now, the organization has supported upwards of 200 clients per year, solely through volunteer efforts. This will be the organization’s first employee.
“Since COVID-19 began to spread in Canada, women accounted for almost two-thirds of early job losses, despite the fact they only make up half of the workforce. By building the professional capacity of this agency, Dress for Success can more effectively provide support to women as they re-enter the workforce,” said Hargreaves.
“We give a hand up, not a hand out to women.”
“The Community Foundation chose to support Dress for Success because they are actively addressing financial barriers faced by women in central Alberta,” Erin Peden, executive director of RDDCF said.
Peden says it was a very deliberate choice to make sure that funding is reaching specifically women within the community. Dress for Success is providing an essential service, helping women have the appropriate attire and and everything that they need before they try to re-enter the workforce.
Peden says that her organization is a funder within the community. They saw this donation as an investment in the community.
“If somebody would like to make a long-term impact within their community they come to see us and we invest their donations. Each and every year we use the investment income from that donation to provide grants within the community,” said Peden.
She says the grant comes from the smart and caring communities fund which is a community fund that can grant to any registered charity within central Alberta.
For more information on “Dress for Success” please visit centralalberta.dressforsuccess.org.
The organization is always looking for more volunteers.