A Giving Circle: Dress For Success Follow-up
Sitting there on the front dash of the truck was a brown name plate, the kind you typically find on a very traditional office desk. It read, “This Girl Can”. That one simple phrase sums up the attitude of empowerment that Dress For Success gives to all women who visit their boutique. Rachel Flichel, Executive Director of Dress For Success Boise Valley, sat down in the driver’s seat of their little black fashion truck to tell us all about it. She gave us the grand tour of the newly completed fashion boutique on wheels.
Imagine that you have a big job interview coming up which could change the course of your life forever. Now imagine that all you have to wear for that interview is a pair of old sweats, or jeans and a t-shirt. The reality is that there are hundreds of Idaho women every year that find themselves in that very situation. They are willing and able to move forward in life, but for many different reasons simply do not have the means to go out and buy a new suit to prepare for a job interview. That’s where Dress For Success comes in. Dress For Success Boise Valley partners with over 40 local organizations to provide women preparing to enter the workforce with a much needed boost. Located within Capital Christian Church in Meridian, Idaho is a fully functioning fashion boutique full of ladies’ dress suits, blouses, handbags, jewelry and all the accessories needed for a complete professional outfit.
Rachel has served as the Executive Director for over six years and in that time one need stood out to her that required a rolling solution. Many of the women in need that Dress For Success outfits do not have any transportation to the boutique in Meridian. The solution was to put the boutique on wheels and drive it directly to those in need. Removing one more obstacle towards the goals of self reliance is one step closer to independence, confidence, and new lease on life.
We’ve suited over 6,000 women and over 15,000 children have been affected by their mothers coming to Dress For Success and finding employment. Over the last 20 years our biggest struggle has always been transportation for women, especially down in shelter. There isn’t a busline that comes to Meridian where our boutique is located. It has been on my heart for six years to find a way to take our services to the women who really need them the most. Thus, the mobile boutique!
That’s wear A Giving Circle comes in. It’s core focus for being established was for the betterment of our communities. It was purposely designed to support the local nonprofit organizations that held personal connections to the agents of Amherst Madison. Dress For Success was nominated by an Amherst Madison agent. Each organization was required to respond to their nomination with a completed application to verify their eligibility. A Giving Circle board members met to carefully select the nonprofit organizations they felt were making the biggest positive impact on our communities. In 2018 the board selected five finalists. Dress For Success was chosen as a finalist and the rest is history.
In preparation for our second annual event we have already collected nonprofit nominations. Our dedicated board members have already selected three new finalists for A Giving Circle 2019. The updated event will take place at JUMP in downtown Boise on December 14th. The giving is not limited to this once a year occasion. For every real estate transaction side that is closed this year, the agents of Amherst Madison have been given the opportunity to donate to a preliminary fund that will be added to the total on the night’s end.
The first step was obviously buying the truck, which at the Giving Circle was the biggest bulk of being able to purchase this truck, so thank you. I was just blown away by first of all the amount that we were given. To almost have exactly the amount needed to buy this truck was just incredible. The evening was gorgeous and was so well put on. It’s life changing. It is really offering a hand-up and not a hand-out. We believe in these women. We know they can do it, and sometimes they just need something that is simple and basic as an outfit and encouragement. The confidence really comes from the inside out, it’s incredible.
We can’t tie a bow on this story right now because it’s ongoing. What we can do is encourage everyone to do two things. You can learn more how you can get involved with Dress For Success by visiting their website: https://boisevalley.dressforsuccess.org/get-involved/