Send One Suit

A Houston non-profit has a S.O.S message — send one suit. Dress for success launches its suit donation drive next week with the goal of collecting enough suits to help thousands of women find jobs. Laurie Johnson has more.

Dress for Success has been around in Houston since 1998, providing suits for women who can't afford one.

President Nancy Lavicki says they usually serve about 3,000 women a year, but because of the economy, the need has increased dramatically.

"Last year we served 15 percent more women than we had served the year before. But beyond the numbers, we're really seeing women who have been secure in jobs for a very long time and find themselves for the first time out of work."

The typical client at Dress for Success is a low-income woman who may be getting off the streets or moving into a steady work environment.

Lavicki says this year they're seeing women from all walks of life in need of a job and in need of an interview-ready outfit.

"Just imagine for yourself, you've been secure in a job, you haven't maybe had an interview in 10 or 15 years and that in itself is so intimidating to go back into that process of interviewing for a job and hoping for the best. And I think that the boost that they receive at Dress for Success is the fact that the suit that they may not be able to afford gives them that confidence that they need."

Lavicki says they need to provide suits for 4,000 women this year. About 70 percent of that will be collected through the Send One Suit drive over the course of the next week. Suits can be dropped off at any MW Cleaners location, as well as at the Dress for Success headquarters on Dacoma just east of 290.

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...