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Building our Closet of Hope!
June 20, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
In March 2017, I met an Atlantic County local who has worked the Human Resources department of her job for 12 years. In our conversation, she discussed how hard it was for her to see some of the individuals that were applying for jobs struggle. These struggles came from the fact that they were not even able to get past the online applications that were confusing to them or because they did not have any professional clothing in their closet for an interview and were forced to wear what they owned even if it was a pair of jeans. After this conversation I realized how I have gone on group interviews and looked at a person who was wearing jeans in shock that they would think it is appropriate to wear that, never thinking whether they owned anything other than jeans or could afford to purchase something even if it was at a thrift store. These thoughts took over me and I knew the next move needed to be to reach out to some other professionals to see their thoughts. Not only did I receive positive feedback, but I found 3 other dedicated and hardworking individuals that wanted to be part of the creation! So with the help of Dawn Belamarich Berry, Stephanie Clineman, and Michael Boney, Closet of Hope was developed!
The Closet of Hope is designed to be a professional clothing closet, but it is so much more than that! This will be an entire program designed to help prepare and educate individuals looking to obtain employment by connecting them to classes and resources in the community as well as working with them one on one within the areas that they need assistance. There will be volunteers consistently at Closet of Hope that can assist with building resumes, online applications, job searching, etc. We will be partnering with many other community resources as well to make sure that the client is fully supported. Once a client obtains a job interview, at that point we will allow them to go shopping in our closet, that will be set up boutique-style so that they feel special about their accomplishment, and not just like they received a hand-me down donation. If a job is obtained, we would want to continue to work with the client to set new goals and help with job retention.
We have been blessed to be offered space above St. Michael’s Church along with Dorrie Papademetriou from MudGirls, who we will be working side by side with. This school has not been in use since 1988 when the elementary school was closed. Although structurally the building is sound, there are still some miscellaneous needs such as paint, plumbing and electrical work that need to be completed. We are laying the foundation to open Closet of Hope daily, but could use all as much support as possible with getting our doors open to begin to help clients.
Please come join us on Tuesday 6/20 to learn about a new soon-to-be non-profit! By purchasing a $5 bracelet, you will receive Happy Hour price drink specials for 3 hours ($2 Domestics, $4 Well Drinks, $5 House Wines). All proceeds from the braclets will be given to Closet of Hope for rehabiliation of the building. 10% of the food sales will also be given to Closet of Hope & MudGirls during this time as well.