Good Neighbors

Mobile Boutiques Help Women Returning to the Workforce

Non-profit group's new vans will literally be able to meet women where they are, as they work to get jobs.

When you're a woman trying to get back into the workforce, looking your best is crucial. Dress for Success Pittsburgh's five regional boutiques have always been there to help. But many women can't get to one of their locations. Now there's a solution, thanks to some big dreaming, hard work, and a lot of generous donors.

South Area Director Tracey Whitted and the new South Boutique van.

Dress for Success Pittsburgh is rolling out two mobile boutiques this week, one which will serve women in the Allegheny/Butler county region, and the other, women in Washington, Fayette and Greene counties. The new Ford F-350 transit vans are decked out and ready to roll as we saw when we went to Wednesday night's ribbon cutting for the South Mobile Boutique at Range Resources (they're one of the van sponsors, along with Chevron ) in Canonsburg, south of PIttsburgh:

"We are thrilled to be able to reach more local women than ever before," said Tanya Mallory, CEO of Dress for Success Pittsburgh.

Last year the organization did 37 mobile events that served 615 women, but they they had to haul all of the clothes, shoes, racks and accessories in the trunks of employees' cars. With the new mobile units, volunteers will be able to more easily reach women who don't have transportation, and serve women where they are. "The ability to reach women at community centers, libraries and universities will increase job readiness for at least twice as many women this year," said Mallory.

Checking out the back of the van, with lots of room for dresses and other hanging clothes.

If you're a Sparkt fan who decided to make a difference and donate after our previous story, which described the effort to buy the vans, good job! You've helped #StartSomethingGood!

Previous story: Clean Out Your Closet; Support a Woman in Her Job Search

There's still time to get involved. Dress for Success will need donations to cover the cost of parking, insurance, maintenance and gas for the new vans. As the donor board below shows, a donation of $75 will buy an oil change, while $1000 will pay for insurance and inspection for a year. They also need volunteers to staff the vans, and clothes to stock them. Click here to find out how to help .

If you'd like to see the New North Mobile Boutique van, the ribbon cutting is Friday 8/23, 6-7pm at Macy's at Ross Park Mall. Macy's and ADP are the North van co-sponsors.

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