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Not just another day at Dress for Success

January 12, 2012

My friend and I are two of the army of women that volunteer at Dress for Success, Vancouver. When I started with DFS I wondered what the DFS secret was, how they managed to convince so many volunteers to cart in bags of clothes and shoes, toil in back rooms to empty boxes, stack shelves and hang displays, sort and steam clothes (why do I do it at DFS when the iron rarely makes an appearance at home I ask), sew on buttons, fix hems, take clothes home to wash – you get the idea – the list is endless.

Part of the answer is the complete dedication of Deb Twocock and her staff who work tirelessly to support women in their efforts to return to the workforce or get into it for the first time and their genuine, enthusiastic welcome for the volunteers. This is a huge inspiration for the volunteers. Some of it is the creative kick that comes from helping a client find just the right wardrobe to go for an interview and start her new career; some of it the satisfaction of a job well done in helping the client prepare for an interview or find a job.

But the real answer is the client. The client who comes in shy, nervous, unhappy with her physical appearance, lacking confidence, uncertain what she needs or how she will be treated. The client who comes in with little or no expectations; a client with a history of disappointment. The same client who leaves an hour later with a huge smile, feeling and looking fabulous, and with a new-found sense of self. This is the greatest gift possible to a volunteer. This is why all these women give so much of their time.

Thanks to a very special lady, I had such a day today.

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