Dress for Success Helps Low-Income Women Not Just Survive But Thrive At Work and in Life
Growing up with a father who struggled with alcoholism, a mother who was unable to get credit in her own name, days were filled with worry due to threats of repossession, and nights were extra-long due to utility shut-offs. Regina Haddock is no stranger to struggle and she knows from personal experience and can empathize with many of the strains her clients are currently facing. Regina is the founder and executive director of Dress for Success Quad Cities, an affiliate of an international non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of women located in more than 125 cities across 15 countries.
Regina, who was a part-time advisor for the Lia Sophia jewelry company (a major corporate sponsor of Dress for Success), had her “ah-ha” moment in the fall of 2010 and knew that this program was exactly what was needed in the Quad Cities. After much hard work and the helping hands of many, two years later on November 1, 2011, she proudly opened the boutique doors.
Dress for Success serves clients by referral only and since opening, they have served just over 350 women. “Our clients come to us from over 50 local referral partners including homeless shelters, educational institutions, and domestic violence shelters, among others.” On her initial visit, a woman receives attire and accessories appropriate for the industry in which she is interviewing. After a woman finds a job, she returns to Dress for Success for additional clothing that can be mixed and matched to make several outfits, providing her with the foundation for a professional wardrobe. “Thanks to a generous donation, we recently launched a new health care section in our boutique which offers scrubs for women starting their career in the health care field,” says Haddock.
While best known for providing attire to women, Dress for Success is more than just a suit. Professional attire and finding work is only one step in a woman’s journey toward economic independence — they also provide programs and a network of support including the Professional Women’s Group (PWG) program, which offers women ongoing support as they successfully transition into the workforce as well as a Career Center, an initiative that promotes confidence and professionalism by providing women career guidance, the chance to acquire technology skills and assistance in their job searches.
Dress for Success Quad Cities relies on the financial contributions, in-kind donations, and volunteer efforts of individuals and companies who are committed to helping women take charge of their lives. You can get involved anytime — including this month. Dress for Success Quad Cities’ premier fundraising event, One Night One Mission, is being held September 18-20. The event was created to generate awareness and celebrate the mission. The idea is simple — invite caring and generous people who are passionate about empowering women to come together and celebrate during one of three nights (Thursday, September 18 through Saturday, September 20). Hostesses from the QCA will rally and organize their own parties on behalf of the organization to raise funds and help spread the message of Dress for Success Quad Cities. Find them at facebook.com/dfsqc or visit onenightonemission.org to learn how you can get involved.