Northern Kentucky University’s Staff Congress held the Dress for Success Drive this past week in the Student Union, collecting business clothing and accessories to help support women who do not have the means to build a professional wardrobe.
The drive takes place annually on approximately the week after spring break, however the main office, located on 4th Street in downtown Cincinnati, is always accepting donations.
Not only does the organization provide clothing for women trying to enter the workforce, but it also gives support, advice and tools to help obtain and manage their career goals.
“I’m always interested in worthy causes,” said Ferial Ware, NKU Chase Law academic specialist, current Staff Congress member and the head of NKU’s Dress for Success drive. “I have a passion for people, and for helping people.”
Dress for Success accepts all gently used business casual attire, including hosiery still in the original package, shoes and purses. These individual items can then be mixed and matched to create one complete business outfit to give to a client, some even with accessories such as scarves and jewelry.
“[Clients] get one suit [or business outfit] for the interview, and one suit when they receive the job,” said Ware.
Dress for Success also aides students just beginning their job search who may find it difficult to purchase new business outfits while trying to keep up with bills.
“I know its a challenge for students who already have so much on their plate and also have to prepare for their professional job search,” said Amanda Meeker, a career advisor and first-year volunteer for the Dress for Success. “And buying a suit can be expensive, so it’s nice that there’s an alternative out there for students.”
The NKU booth has brought in clothing donated by both students and faculty, which in turn has aided a student within the NKU community. “There was one student who got a job because of Dress for Success,” Meeker said.
While NKU faculty and staff were present volunteering at the Dress for Success table, no student volunteers were present.
“It seems there has been a student in the past,” said Rebekah Richardson, NKU Educational Talent Search assistant director and Dress for Success volunteer. “But none this year.”
Ware and Meeker, who share the Dress for Success table in the Student Union for 30-minute slots at a time, welcomed the idea of student volunteers.