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Removing Barriers and Taking the Next Step

Dress for Success Pittsburgh is using innovative ways to remove barriers serve women in transition.

Image courtesy of Dress for Success Pittsburgh

Each Monday, Curio412 highlights good news of service and innovation in our communities!

Today we feature Dress for Success Pittsburgh who for the past 15 years has been removing barriers to obtaining and retaining employment by empowering women with the clothing and

connections they need to feel strong and confident as they take the next step in their career journey.

Women are referred for services by community partners in the counties they serve. Dress for Success Pittsburgh welcomes any woman who needs our support through a transition, from a young woman seeking her first part-time job to break the cycle of poverty, to a single mom returning to the workforce, a survivor of domestic abuse, a veteran, a first generation college student, a previously incarcerated woman, and a retiree starting her second career.

When Covid hit, Dress for Success Pittsburgh started seeing women who had never been in need of their services before and knew that their organization had to continue to provide their vital services to women in need safely. With a class of interns, the organization was able to build a Virtual Connections Resource Center (VCRC) delivers our vital services to women everywhere through an online platform. Featuring local job boards, interview and employment preparation resources, professional styling guides, advice on navigating workplace culture, and physical, mental and emotional health resources, the VCRC provides a network of resources to empower women in their holistic development. Women can visit the VCRC at

Varied fundraising initiatives have made a huge impact on their capacity to provide these services. Due to the overwhelming generosity of clothing donations during Covid, Dress For Success Pittsburgh arranged a Style Box fundraiser to manage their inventory and give back. During this fundraiser, contributors were given the option to purchase or donate personal style boxes of clothing put together by the style consultants at Dress for Success Pittsburgh. Boxes contained clothing, a personalized note of thanks, and surprise in-kind donations. The fundraiser gained overwhelming traction on Instagram with over 100 boxes sold and with 56 boxes donated to their clients.

In addition to innovative fundraisers like the Style Box, Dress for Success Pittsburgh's Monthly Giving Program (MGC) has had the biggest impact by providing consistent support through monthly donation tiers. For example, one tier of monthly giving can provide one woman with a complete interview outfit, a pair of shoes, personal care items, and professional accessories each month OR buying 3 sets of medical scrubs for a woman entering a medical training program each month.

In 2021, Dress for Success Pittsburgh is looking forward to celebrating its 15th anniversary.

Give Back

Dress for Success Pittsburgh provides opportunities to support their mission through engagement opportunities and financial donations. Learn more about ways to support our mission:

Curio412 is a consultancy for nonprofits and businesses who want to make a BIG impact, reap the benefits of a tight-knit team, and attract recognition to their organizations by developing systems that reflect your values and goals. We believe what you do makes a difference. Which is why we started our e-zine - to tell your story so you can be known for the good that you do.

Have a story of service and innovation from your organization that you would like to share? Email me at to be featured.

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