Mak­ing Waves

Cel­e­brat­ing South­west Florid­i­ans

RSWLiving - - Departments - — Beth Lu­berecki

Five years ago, Bar­bara Dell vis­ited the Dress for Suc­cess web­site and found that Fort My­ers was a tar­get area for the non­profit. “Just like that, my let­ter went out to re­quest more in­for­ma­tion,” she re­calls. About a year later, Dress for Suc­cess South­west Florida be­gan pro­vid­ing lo­cal women in need with ca­reer ad­vice and pro­fes­sional at­tire, with the help of early sup­port­ers like White House Black Mar­ket and Ca­reer-Source South­west Florida.

Since then, the or­ga­ni­za­tion has pro­vided more than 1,200 women with wardrobes, ad­vice and train­ing to help them se­cure and re­tain em­ploy­ment. “My fa­vorite part of the job is the women we serve,” says Dell, who now holds the po­si­tion of ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor. “When they feel like they look bet­ter, they feel bet­ter about them­selves and it can re­ally build their self- es­teem.”

Do­na­tions of pro­fes­sional at­tire come from both the lo­cal com­mu­nity and re­tail­ers like White House Black Mar­ket, which is now part­ner­ing with Dress for Suc­cess world­wide, thanks to its re­la­tion­ship with the lo­cal af­fil­i­ate. “It’s pretty big stuff,” says Dell, “and is kind of putting us on the map.” 239- 6894992, dress­for­suc­cess.org/swflorida

BAR­BARA DELL

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