A closer look at Dress for Success

| June 1, 2011
Dress for Success Louisville Executive Director Betty J. Fox.

Dress for Success Louisville Executive Director Betty J. Fox.

Giving back is a simple message with profound effects. Many of us have been given the opportunity to give back and make a difference in the lives of others. Charitable organizations everywhere rely on the good deeds of those who live in their community.

I realize that my access to the media gives me a chance to help bring awareness to local charities that rely on our support. I am always impressed to see people commit their time and resources for the betterment of others.

I asked Dress for Success Louisville Executive Director Betty J. Fox to share about her organization.

What was Dress for Success Louisville’s experience last year with Best Dressed?
Oh my goodness, we were so blown away just to be chosen and then, to attend the event was like being at the most extravagant, high-fashion runway show ever. But being presented with $20,000 and surprising our board of directors and all our guests at our annual luncheon with the check was truly the icing on the cake. There may be a dollar sign involved, but it was truly priceless.

What are some of the struggles nonprofit organizations face today?
I think every nonprofit is struggling to get funding. In today’s economy, corporations and individuals aren’t giving like they used to. Funds are more difficult than ever to obtain. From the nonprofit perspective, demand for service is up due to increased unemployment and financial hardship. With less funds coming in and higher demand for help, it makes it necessary to be more creative with fundraising, and at the same time, more available to provide services. This makes volunteerism key in being able pursue our mission. Without committed volunteers, we just couldn’t do the work.

I know you must have many proud moments and accomplishments. Will you share one or two of your stories with our readers?
Well since Best Dressed 2010, we have suited more than 400 women, but that is just the beginning. The funds we received really helped us launch a new program we are so proud of, our Career Transformation Center. With computers, volunteers and weekly workshops, we are now helping women not only get ready on the outside but on the inside with training and skills to get a job and advance at work.

I think of Rhonda, a college-educated accountant who found herself out of a job. Two years and countless interviews later, she came to need assistance to get back on the road to employment. She came into the career center so defeated, but is now seeing her skills and experience in a new light with the help of a career coach and is refreshed and ready to continue her pursuit of employment.

How would someone go about getting involved with Dress for Success?
There are so many ways to get involved, from donating clothing to making a monetary contribution, from working one-on-one with the women in the Boutique to providing help for a special event. There are also opportunities to serve on our board of directors or head up a committee. The possibilities for involvement are truly endless. Call the Dress for Success Louisville office at 502.584.8050 to get connected or join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DFSLouisville for more information.

For someone unfamiliar with Dress for Success Louisville, what would you say about your organization?
Most people know us for the “suit” and are surprised to find we are so much more than that. Our goal is to help women from the inside out, and we do this through career counseling, job readiness workshops and a lifetime of support. We know that as the women we serve change, it impacts their families. We want to provide comprehensive programming to help them make positive changes in sync. We provide opportunities for children to learn alongside their mothers so they are all empowered together.

Beyond the Boutique experience, a woman can come through the doors for a new set of clothes and leave with a whole new outlook on her life. We do this through our Career Center and Professional Women’s Group Programs. It goes way beyond that first suit. By empowering families, it truly can change the world.

More information on all of our programs can be found at www.dressforsuccess.org/louisville.

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About the Author (Author Profile)

Lori Kommor

Lori Kommor, Columnist/Event Chair

Lori wears many hats: writing two weekly columns, chairing The
Voice-Tribune’s events and keeping the staff fed with a stash of snacks
Willy Wonka would envy. She’s a fervent high school soccer fan (go
Collegiate!) and has the raspy voice to prove it after game days.

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