left: Charity poses with fashion mogul Lori Goldstein, her mother LuAnn Justman, Dress for Success Columbus CEO Vicki Bowen Hewes and Vicki’s mother at the 2013 Beyond the Suit Luncheon. Charity was honored with the Woman of Power award at the event. below: Charity and her daughter, Cherish, show off their desire to empower the world by dressing up as Wonder Women for Halloween. She never considered she would be a good candidate, too. After all, she had started profitable bartending and coupon businesses in the past and she never had trouble getting a job and working hard enough to take over a management role in no time. But as Charity quickly learned, Dress for Success “was not a hand out. It was a hand up,” she says. “There’s a common theme of being perseverant, dedicated and determined even though all these bad things have happened to them,” she says in admiration of the women she’s joined in the sisterhood. Charity is currently working toward her bachelor’s degree in social work in hopes of expanding the options available for women and young people in Central Ohio. She often describes Dress for Success as a bridge that helps women get from one place in their life to another, and she’d like to apply that theory to a transitional living program for teens who age out of the foster care but are still in school and not ready to take on the adult responsibility of working full time. getting dressed for success Volunteers who act as personal shoppers at Dress for Success Columbus make it their mission to ensure that every woman leaves feeling confident. At their first appointment, clients preparing for interviews receive one outfit, which includes accessories such as shoes, a purse and jewelry. They also receive personal care products. Once women are employed, they receive a week’s worth of clothing and accessories – which typically translates into much more than that once all the items are mixed and matched. Being a student again has occasionally led Charity to get caught up in self-pity and doubt, she says, especially when seeing her peers go on spring break trips, drive brand new cars and forgo work to focus on classes, but her Dress for Success Columbus support system keeps her grounded. “They empower you,” she says. “They help you see yourself for who you are.” - Melissa Dilley Thanks to personal donations, corporate donations and apparel drives throughout the year, women can come into the boutique and be assured that they’ll find something that makes them feel beautiful and ready to jump start their career journey. However, Dress for Success Columbus does have a wish list of items that tend to run low because of high demand or low availability. The boutique is always in need of black pants and skirts, stretch-knit tops, open-style jackets and neutral-shade dresses in women’s size 20 and higher. SUCCESS LIVES HERE | 14

16 Publizr Home

You need flash player to view this online publication