Diane MacDonald, Executive Director of the Community Clothes Closet in Menasha, enjoys seeing the donations that come through the doors, especially in a special section of the store called the New Start Boutique which is geared specifically to low income job seekers.
"The clothing that's in here is quite nice, and it's difficult for our clients to afford that," she said.
The New Start Boutique has everything you need for a job interview from suits and dresses to jewelry, shoes and make-up. It's all free of charge.
"How you dress and how you portray yourself says a lot about who you are and what your abilities are. So, when somebody is in here and they feel good about the outfit that they've chosen, their eyes light up, they stand a little straighter, you know they're very proud to walk out with a really great outfit and a new attitude," MacDonald explained.
The Community Clothes Closet, which was founded in 1980, also provides haircut certificates from a local salon, so job seekers can get a new, more professional look. Staff or volunteers work with the clients as well by providing tips and tricks to help them do their best at their job interview. The confidence that is built can help lead to a steady paycheck.
"It can change the whole trajectory of their situation," MacDonald explained. "Once she gets the job, she can come back in for a starter wardrobe really to help people get on that path to self sufficiency."
The success stories have left a big impression on the Mid-Day Women's Alliance. The networking and women empowerment group has chosen the Community Clothes Closet to be this year's recipient of the proceeds from their biggest fundraiser of the year, the Black and Pink Ball. Board Member and Ball Co-Chair Sandipa Das said the non-profit's mission is closely aligned with the goals of the Mid-Day Women's Alliance.
"It's very important for women to be empowered by other women, so they can see that it does not have to end at a certain ceiling that the possibilities are endless."
Das said in 2017, the Ball raised over $25,000. A donation like that would go a long way at the Community Clothes Closet which served more than 500 people last year.
"Most of our items are donated, but we really have to still go out and supplement things for our hard to fit clients, for people that have special needs, so we just see our wide range of people and we want to be sure that we can support all of them," said MacDonald.
She and Das said they're looking forward to a having fun night at the Black and Pink Ball. You
can dance the night away while also helping women in need climb the ladder to success.
Das said, "It is so rewarding to be able to give back."
MacDonald added, "We're just really excited and very appreciative of the opportunity."
The Black and Pink Ball is being held on December 5th from 6:00pm to 9:00pm at Waverly Beach in Menasha. There will be live and silent auctions, hor d'oeuvres, a chocolate raffle and a pop-up shop. NBC26's Stacy Engebretson is proud to serve as the event's emcee again this year.
Click here for ticket information.