Economics Society helps local women “dress for success”

  by Kit Murray

murrayki@mnstate.edu

A campus organization is working to do its part volunteering in the Fargo-Moorhead community.

MSUM’s Economics Society spent an evening in  late September donating its time to Fargo nonprofit Dress for Success.

The organization aims to promote self-sufficiency by providing each woman with one suit when she has a job interview. When she lands the job, she returns for additional business-appropriate pieces to help her build a professional wardrobe. She also receives an invitation to join the Professional Women’s Group, an employment retention program. Dress for Success serves women by referral only from other nonprofits including domestic violence agencies, homeless shelters and job-training programs.

Economics professor Tonya Hansen was recently contacted by the organization. Amanda Evens, its one full-time employee, reached out to Hansen to see if she would be willing to lend a helping hand. Hansen reached out to Sam Carlson, the society’s vice president, and planning kicked off.

“We figured out a date and time and it was pretty quick and straight forward,” Carlson said.

Carlson, along with Economics Society’s roughly dozen other members, agreed it was an opportunity they enjoyed and would like to continue doing.

Seven members from the group were able to come out that night. Volunteers helped sort through clothes, organize old materials and bring out new items for the winter season.

A majority of the work needing to be done can be repetitive and dull, and a common issue nonprofits face is not having enough time or helping hands to complete necessary tasks.

Dress for Success originated in New York, but has been expanding since 1997. It has successfully reached out to more than 850,000 women in need in 19 different countries.

Although this was its first project volunteering in the community, the Economics Society plans to do more service work in the future. Typically, its events include hosting trips, tours and fundraisers. The group has been to Microsoft as well, and hosted a phone drive for the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center, where they were able to collect old phones to raise money for its cause.

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