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THAT'S WEAR IT'S AT YWCA Wear to Work Program Quarterly Newsletter - Winter 2005 Happy Holidays From the Wear to Work Program! Thanks for Giving!! Initially we wanted to use this issue of Great things can be accomplished the W2W newsletter to spotlight every through hard work and selflessness. individual who gave to the program this Wear to Work is living proof of that. year. Unfortunately, it would have taken a Please continue to support our program small forest to list everyone on the roster of and know that though we cannot list over 600 names! the name of every single person that has touched our program, each and We feel more blessed than we could every one of you are in our prayers this ever put into words that the community has holiday season. been so supportive of our program. Thanks to your generosity we have been On behalf of the YWCA Wear to Work able to assist over 100 women with Program and its clients, clothing and job-seeking skills this year. It is because of you that we were able to take Thank You Macon County! one client who started a job at Caterpillar to get the new steel-toe boots she needed. Your donations of gifts cards help made it possible for us to purchase plus-sized The following area businesses made significant in-kind clothing that it is so difficult for us to keep in stock. and/or monetary contributions to W2W this year: In 2006, Wear to Work plans to attempt Castaways to double our client base. With more Cromwell Radio Group volunteers and improved planning, we plan Decatur Herald & Review to implement more job readiness initiatives DMH Uniform Shop and form more community partnerships. First Baptist Church First United Methodist Church LSA Resale Shop INSIDE THIS ISSUE National City Next Media Radio Group 1 Happy Holidays from Wear to Work New Vision Hair Care Center Peerless Cleaners 2 Greater Decatur Y Offers Katrina Relief Regions Bank St. John’s Lutheran Church 2 Community Supports W2W Fundraisers Soy Capital Bank State Farm Insurance – Bloomington, IL 3 W2W Spotlight on Success UPS WAND-TV 3 Welcome New Volunteers! Yours Plus Mine We could not survive without your kindness. May you be truly 4 Coordinator’s Corner blessed this holiday season! THAT’S WEAR IT’S AT - pg 2 Greater Decatur Y Offers Katrina We’ve Got Rummage Relief Your Meal Extravaganza was a There are very few, if any, people Wonderland for that have not been affected by the Ticket! devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Bargain Hunters! W2W 3rd Annual Though no one ever wants such tragic One of the reasons many people things to happen, it is during these Drive-Thru decide to give to the Wear to Work moments that we truly see the best Chicken Dinner Fundraiser Program is because they like the idea and the worst of our fellow (wo)man. rakes in record-breaking sales of knowing that clothing, tools, and Not even pouring rain and bolts of services we provide are given to clients The Greater Decatur Y (GDY), lightening could scare off W2W at no cost. However, because the dedicated to its Christian values, volunteers serving up hundreds of program does not generate revenue on spared not a moment hesitating when Nelson’s chicken dinners September its own, fundraising is crucial to the the opportunity to help came calling. 19, 2005. The Wear to Work Program life of the program. The local Next Media radio stations sold over 400 of the popular ―golden- Macon County residents give tons (WSOY-FM and –AM) worked with glow‖ dinners raising over $1000 for and tons of beautiful clothing to the the Red Cross to coordinate a fund the program. program each year, and we simply do drive on the front lawn of the Greater not always have space to keep Decatur Y on Friday, September 2, Wear to Work volunteers, along everything. We also get some items 2005. with YWCA staff and board members that are either not work appropriate or worked frantically under a tent to get are considered too worn for clients Scores of supporters drove hot chicken, corn, mashed potatoes trying to make a good first impression through the lot to give to the families with gravy, and bread in containers on employers. These items are that had lost everything. Y employees and delivered to the endless line of generally donated to other shelters, and volunteers from throughout the cars driving through the St. John’s charities, etc. city work tirelessly from 9:00 am to Lutheran Church Parking Lot behind 5:30 pm to raise all that they could. the Y. About thirty minutes after A suggestion was made that we The one-day event brought in over serving began, the rain came. consider selling clothing that we could $250,000 to support the victims of the Volunteers serving meals fought the not keep to raise money for the country’s worst hurricane. wind as they tried to keep momentum program. The idea was met by going. Those running meals to volunteers and donors alike with very As the residents of Louisiana and awaiting cars donned raincoats and mixed emotions. To test the success Mississippi begin to pick up the pieces garbage bags to stay dry. Signs of such an idea, we hosted our first of their washed out lives, some in area directing traffic blew in every ever Rummage Extravanaganza on shelters, some hundreds, even direction. Miraculously everyone was September 29, 2005. thousands of miles away in places served including an order of 80 Once again, Wear to Work they’ve never been, they need basic dinners anonymously donated to the volunteers, as well as YW staff and necessities like food, clothing, and Boys & Girls Club of Decatur. board members, worked hard to make shelter. the event run smoothly. The one-day Wear to Work appreciates all of the sale brought in over $400. We were The YWCA Wear to Work support of those who bought dinners happy; the customers were happy, and Program is doing its part by sending and made donations. We were thrilled donors didn’t seem to object too much bags of women’s clothing donated to to hear that everybody enjoyed their once we assured them that every the center to organizations taking meals, and we look forward to doing it penny would be specifically used to supplies to hurricane refugees, as well again next year. assist clients. as by supplying clothes to female victims that have relocated to Central We thank everyone that donated A special thanks goes out to all of clothing and household items for the Illinois. The YW’s mission to the businesses that encouraged their empower women could never be sale, all those that came out to shop, employees to purchase meals and to stronger. By working with other and, of course, all of the volunteers. all of the volunteers that made this efforts in the community, mothers and This could be the beginning of an sale a success. annual event—maybe even an avenue wives will rebuild their lives. Thanks to community donations, when they’re for ongoing program funding. Please Keep your eyes open for next year’s ready to find work, Wear to Work will know that we will always provide our dinner date—this is one meal ticket be here to help them! services at no cost to clients, and we that’s just too god to pass up! appreciate your ongoing support. THAT’S WEAR IT’S AT - pg 3 W 2W Spotlight Cont’d Spotlight Cont’d Spotlight I agreed that perhaps our chance picked fit perfectly. It truly conversation was divine intervention. complemented her new figure. on Success We set up an appointment, and I After picking out accessories and asked her what size she wore. ―I’m not talking a bit about her prospective new sure,‖ she said, ―with this change in She’s Got Skills! weight, I can never tell.‖ She was so job, she asked me if it would be inappropriate for her to take her book frustrated. I met Shannon at a job fair. I bag to the interview. I had just gotten frequent the fairs to scout potential The day of Shannon’s in a beautiful new black leather attaché clients and volunteers. Shannon was appointment, she called me almost an case, and I slipped it in her bag. new in town and was not familiar with hour past her appointment. The city the Wear to Work Program. Her eyes welled up with tears. ―I bus driver had told her there was no can’t believe this,‖ she said. ―I want to such place as Wear to Work, so she She told me that she was staying come back next week and volunteer. took the bus to the YWCA. Now with with relatives and really needed a job, proper instructions, she hopped back ―That’s great,‖ I said, ―but first but had recently had a dramatic on the bus and made it to the clothing call me, and let me know how your change in weight so she had no center. I had to admire her interview goes. Walk in there like interview clothing that fit. Though determination. you’ve got the job. This interview is Shannon spoke quite articulately, she seemed rather unsure of herself. I just a formality.‖ Once Shannon finally arrived, we asked her what type of job she was went right to work on her resume. We The next day Shannon called. She looking for. She said anything she discovered that she had plenty of said she’d been interviewed twice and could get. I told her to give me a call. marketable skills including a CDL even took a drug screening. They had license. As a matter of fact, while even discussed pay and benefits—not The day Shannon called day I just waiting to use the phone at the Y, she something employers do with an happened to be filling in while the was invited to apply for a position as a applicant headed for the circular file. receptionist out to lunch. To my bus driver. She told me that though surprise, the lone phone call I received Now Shannon has begun her she’d failed a basic typing test while that day was from her. search for her own home. With some applying for a customer service job, ―I’ve just put in an application at she passed the 3-hr manufacturing test suggestions from me and some help Caterpillar, and I need an interview with flying colors. from a couple of other local agencies, outfit by next week,‖ she said with a Shannon will be well on her way to a After offering a few tricks of the new life with a brand new attitude. mixture of excitement and trade on her resume, we went to work __________________________________ nervousness in her voice, ―I must have on the perfect interview outfit. We Note: We value the confidential relationship been meant to talk to you. It’s a both decided that she truly was having we share with our W2W clients. Therefore, blessing that you answered the a blessed day when despite her in our spotlight stories, all of the client names phone.‖ uncertainty of her size the first suit she are changed. For more information on Wear to Work, please complete the following and send to YWCA Wear to Work, 220 W. McKinley Ste B, Decatur, IL 62526. Name _______________________________________________________ Wear to Work Welcomes the Following New Volunteers: Address _____________________________________________________ * Judy Allen * City _______________________ State _______ Zip _________________ * Lula Fitzpatrick * * Andretta Johns * Phone (_____)_____-_______ Email ______________________________ * Gladys Ricks * * Kimberly Robertson * Please check (√) the option(s) that interest you most. * Von Simmons * _______Volunteer _______Make a Donation _______ General Info Volunteers are the lifeblood of the W2W Program. Your help is appreciated more than you know! THAT’S WEAR IT’S AT - pg 4 2 COORDINATOR’S CORNER It has truly been a fruitful year for the Wear to Work Program. I really had no idea what to expect when I started this job back in May. I feel as over the past seven months I have gained a family. The YW staff and W2W volunteers have been there for me personally and Wear to Work Volunteers are the best! professionally, and I am so grateful. The W2W clients have been such an From sorting TONS of clothes and dragging donations to every corner inspiration. Meeting so many women of the city, to braving rainstorms to serve chicken dinners, our that overcome so many obstacles with so volunteers have done it all. much grace and determination is just an awesome experience. I learn as much We would be remiss if we did not thank the following individuals who from them as they do from me. volunteered regularly in every capacity throughout 2005: Witnessing the charitable spirit of people in this community warms my Patricia Cain heart and makes my job worthwhile. I don’t know if there is any city in the Gladys Ricks country that offers as much help to those Kathy Sorensen that want to succeed as Decatur does. Thank you to everyone that has touched Linda Swartz my life over the last seven months. I am Annie Yarbury looking forward to a very prosperous 2006 for the Wear to Work Program. Also a special thanks to all the YWCA staff and board members who Happy Holidays! helped throughout the year! Tia White W2W Program Coordinator Wear to Work Wish List The YWCA Wear to Work Program realizes that in the business world, clothes really can make all the difference. That’s why we are committed to providing women entering or re-entering the workforce with professional attire and job readiness skills to get the job and keep it. However, this mission relies almost solely upon donations from the generous people in this community. If you would like to play a part in moving women from dependence to independence by making a tax-deductible contribution to the Wear to Work program, we can always use the following items: Women’s business suits (esp. sizes 24+) Gift cards for purchasing of industry Women’s business separates specific clothing and/or new bras and panties (Wal-Mart, Target, K-Mart, etc.) Women’s jackets and blazers Tailored jewelry White or black Polo style shirts Pocket Calendars White Oxford-style long-sleeved shirts Portable Clothing Racks Nursing scrubs in all sizes and colors Newly purchased toiletries New hosiery and white or black socks (still in package) Black or dark-colored dress shoes (esp. sizes 8 ½ +) Office supplies (i.e. paper, pens, printer/ copier ink) White and black skid-proof shoes (i.e. tennis shoes, work shoes) Bus passes and/tokens ♦ Monetary donations can be made by visiting our website at www.decaturywca.com ♦ Please be sure that all clothing is in nearly new condition. For more information, call the YWCA at 872-9922. THAT’S WEAR IT’S AT - pg 5 DONATION GUIDELINES We want our clients to truly shine on We Want You! every interview. Because Wear to Work is a non-profit program, we rely heavily on volunteers to maintain our center. Your clothing donations are greatly appreciated, however when donating clothing to Wear To Work, we graciously ask the following: Wear to Work is recruiting troops to DO donate clothing that is in season carry out our mission of empowering DO donate clothing in current style or of timeless women through employment. design We are in need of volunteers to DO donate clothing and shoes that are in nearly Sort, press, and hang donated items new condition Keep the center looking great DO provide clean clothing with no spots Consult with clients on image & job seeking DO donate clothing and shoes with sizes clearly skills marked Help organize fundraisers Serve as workplace ambassadors DON’T donate clothing that is ripped, torn, Serve as community ambassadors missing buttons or broken zippers If you think you’re up for the challenge and you DON’T donate old, scuffed shoes or handbags want to make a difference in the lives of women DON’T donate underwear, nightwear, or used all over Macon County, contact Tia White at cosmetics 872-3835 ext. 128, or visit our website at www.decaturywca.com today! DON’T donate children or men’s clothing. start on a career wardrobe. In Case you didn’t know… WEAR TO Q: Do you offer any other services? WORK FAQ’S A: We also offer one-on-one coaching on resume building, Q: Who can use Wear to Work? interviewing techniques, workplace, A: Any woman in Macon County etiquette, and other topics as The Wear to Work Center has looking for a job or just starting a job requested. and truly is in need of professional Q: How is the Wear to Work work attire or uniforms. Program Funded? Q: What do clients receive? A: The program is a not-for-profit We are now accepting donations A: All clients receive a maximum of organization funded through the five work-appropriate outfits. One generosity of Decatur & Macon Wed. 10:00 am – 7:00 pm complete outfit including County residents and grants. and undergarments, hosiery, shoes, Donations come in the form of gently Sat. 9:00 am – 11:00 am accessories, and a seasonal coat if used and new clothing, gift cards from needed is provided for job interviews. Stop in and See Us local merchants, newly purchased at When a job is secured, another four toiletries, make-up and hosiery, etc. outfits will be coordinated for the 1165 N. University Avenue. We also host a number of fundraisers client, at no cost, giving them a solid (Across from Auto Zone on Rt. 48) throughout the year.
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