What to Wear

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Clothes Closet

Contributor: Diane MacDonald, Executive Director at Community Clothes Closet
United Way Fox Cities recently awarded a $10,000 grant to the New Start Boutique, a program of the Community Clothes Closet.

I think we have all felt the anxiety of going to a job interview and not being sure we are wearing the right clothes to help us get the job. The New Start Boutique, a program of the Community Clothes Closet can help with that problem.
The Boutique gives job seekers interview-appropriate outfits. If they get the job, Boutique clients can come back for a starter wardrobe to get back on track and travel the road to self-sufficiency.
We work with a variety of individuals, many of whom are in transitional need of assistance. Kelly, a single mom of three, recently visited the Community Clothes Closet before she interviewed for a position at a local healthcare facility. Kelly heard about our program through a friend, but worried we wouldn’t be able to help her since she considered herself a hard-to-fit size. She worked with our staff on picking out an appropriate interview outfit. Kelly received a pair of dress pants, shirt, blazer and even matching earrings and a handbag. She looked fabulous! Once she was dressed she said, “I look like a boss!” Kelly followed up a couple of weeks later to tell us she got the job and “things are starting to fall into place."
Since the New Start Boutique began, the Community Clothes Closet has helped over 500 clients find interview clothing. The grant from United Way Fox Cities enables us to continue to provide quality, business attire to our clients.
In addition to the New Start Boutique program, the Community Clothes Closet has been providing free clothing to those in need since 1980. By providing free clothing, we can help clients stretch their limited income to cover other basic necessities such as food, housing, transportation, child care, and medical expenses. In 2016, the Clothes Closet served 13,031 clients and distributed over 270,000 pieces of clothing.