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Local charity supports women entering the workforce with clothing event

This story is made possible through the support of Housser's Paint and Wallpaper as part of OrilliaMatters' Community Leaders Program

Women looking for work clothes will have plenty to choose from at a Sept. 15 pop-up event in Wasaga Beach.

Dress for Success Orillia and Barrie, a non-profit organization, is hosting a free professional workwear event for women and non-binary individuals that includes 30-minute fittings for work-appropriate clothing.

"They can get clothing, purses, shoes, jewellery, and even a little bit of makeup," Carolyn Gibson, the manager for community outreach, said. "We try to support as many women as we can." 

Although registration is not required, it is encouraged so they can ensure they have the correct clothing sizes available, she said.

Gibson added that Dress for Success has other programs that support women entering or re-entering the workforce, including a professional women's group that provides financial literacy support and information on navigating professional relationships and workplace etiquette. 

"We focus on providing a continuum of support and opportunities for clients so they can not only gain a career but advance in those careers," she said. 

It's much-needed support for women who may have lost their job during the pandemic or feeling the financial burden of the increased cost of living. This year alone, the charity saw its services increase by 600 per cent, Gibson said. 

"There's definitely a need, and the pandemic has really affected women the most," she said. 

Those interested in supporting Dress for Success can become monthly donors, attend some of their events or donate clothing.   Learn more about the September 15 event here.