[A Year in Review] Suited for Change
2021 has been a year full of obstacles and challenges, but, as a result, Suited for Change has become more innovative and resilient.
Thanks to your support, SFC is stronger than ever and determined to continue providing the women in our neighborhood with the necessary tools for professional success.
As we plan ahead for the new year, let’s take a look back at all we have accomplished this year, thanks to you!
In a world where everything has turned virtual, we were inspired to find a way to adapt our suiting program to the new normal. That’s when we came up with the idea for Virtual Suitings via Zoom! It was the perfect way for us to reconnect with clients from 2020 and simultaneously provide a safe outlet for volunteers. This year, we virtually suited 65 clients and continue to offer them upon request.
Despite the virtual platform, energy and excitement is still apparent in both our clients and volunteers. The client’s eyes light up when they see that perfect pairing of a blouse and necklace or a stunning dress and cardigan, and our volunteers are revitalized by seeing their joy.
After the virtual suiting, the client’s clothing is wrapped in tissue, sealed with a SFC sticker, and topped off with a handwritten note of encouragement from their suiting volunteer.
In a time where so many feel isolated, the handwritten letters from our volunteers truly make these packages feel like a gift. Through this new opportunity, our clients are reminded of the importance of their professional journey and that they have an entire community rooting for them.
Continuing our flagship initiative, SFC suited over 200 women in 2021.
In a one-hour, socially distanced session focused on building client confidence, we continued to provide women with two fashionable, work-appropriate outfits, including shoes and accessories, ensuring they are ready for their big interview. After securing employment, they return to SFC and receive an additional three outfits to allow for a full work-week’s worth of professional clothing.
As perfectly described by one of our recent clients, Gail,
“when you are wearing something you feel good about, your whole demeanor changes.”
Each suiting session is focused not only on equipping our clients with the proper attire, but also the confidence to match along with it. Within the span of one-hour, our clients completely transform, and they are able to see the bright future ahead.
Our coaching workshop excelled in 2021, with 140 clients coached either virtually or in-person.
Instead of slowing our services during the pandemic, SFC ramped up on providing additional mentoring services to equip our clients with the proper tools to leave their best impression in an interview.
Through a tailored one-on-one coaching session with one of our trained volunteers, our clients are able to strengthen their resume, prepare for the tough interview questions, and bolster their confidence.
To ensure our volunteers and staff are able to provide a welcoming and inclusive experience for all clients, we have taken the time in 2021 to host two workshop trainings, focusing on unconscious biases and trauma-informed care.
Unconscious Bias: Appreciating Difference - by Christina Eanes
Trauma Informed Care - by Let’s Empower Advocate and Do (L.E.A.D.)
Thanks to these workshops, our volunteers and staff are better equipped to support our clients and promote healthy and happy minds for everyone who comes into the SFC boutique. We are incredibly grateful for Christina Eanes and LEAD’s guidance as we provide these valuable opportunities to our community.
Despite the setbacks of 2021, we held nine workshops, covering various topics including: dressing well on a budget, interview tips and etiquette, and how to make the best first impression. Additionally, we were finally able to host our Be Bold for Change event in-person in partnership with ACDN for our clients.
Held at the lovely Waterfront Church DC, we had a morning full of workshops, including “Ask your Nutritionist; Healthy Eating on a Budget”, from our friends at Giant Food and “Five Things HR Really Wants You to Know” led by Michelle Brown, and even bra fittings for all participants!
We cannot wait for what is to come in 2022 and it's all thanks to YOU!
Stay connected with us by following us on social media @suitedforchange, and signing up for our Monthly Newsletter for additional updates.