Dress for Success provides opportunities to community, students

Many organizations exist to help people get back on their feet when they may need assistance, and one of these is Dress for Success River Cities, which helps women who need to secure clothing for job interviews.

“Dress for Success River Cities is the only West Virginia affiliate of Dress for Success, a global organization dedicated to empowering 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,” Jessica Hudson, executive director, said.

Dress for Success River Cities was founded in 2006 by Sherri Smith, former Marshall University professor and current associate vice president for academic affairs and dean of undergraduate studies. It began serving women in July 2007.

“We provide each client with professional attire to secure employment, but we are about much more than simply a new outfit,” Hudson said. “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.”

Hudson said they are always looking for volunteers to help out.

“Volunteers are needed for everything from assisting with clients, to hosting a clothing drive, to helping to sort donations,” Hudson said. “Volunteer applications can be obtained by contacting us at 304-522-3011 or by email: [email protected].”

Hudson said she wants others to know that small actions can go a long way toward helping someone who needs a boost.

“Collectively, we can do a lot if we all do a little,” Hudson said. “By donating clothing, shoes or accessories, or volunteering you can have a huge impact on the life of someone else.”

Hudson said she believes they are giving women the means to obtain a job and work toward being self-sufficient.

“Dress for Success is not providing a handout, but a hand up.  We all need assistance at some point in our lives, and what we do helps women to help themselves,” Hudson said.

Hudson said it is important to note that Dress for Success works by referral only. The organization is partnered with Marshall and can be contacted through Career Services.

Michaela Crittenden can be contacted at [email protected].