United Way of Southern Nevada is proud to help empower women in local back to work programs by hosting the WLC Suit Drive. During our annual suit drive, we collect and donate women’s professional clothing and accessories to various back to work programs across the valley. One of our donation recipients is Dress for Success Southern Nevada. This organization helps local women achieve economic independence by providing professional attire, a network of support, and career development tools to help them thrive in work and life. Dress for Success has suited hundreds of women each year and has countless success stories. One of their clients, Sheri, was able to get back on her feet and start a new career through their job readiness programs.
“In 2017, Sheri was a single unemployed mother on welfare with a 5-year-old son who had been diagnosed with ADHD. She had a minimum wage housekeeping job and found herself grappling daily to juggle work hours and the responsibility of picking up her son from kindergarten. One day, the busses were running behind schedule and Sheri was late picking up her son from school.
The school staff shamed Sheri and warned that they could get Child Protective Services involved. This was embarrassing and humiliating. As her head hung down, she noticed little Ricky had a smile on his face and brand-new shoes on his feet, compliments of Goodie Two Shoes Foundation.
Despite, this difficult day, Sheri immediately wrote a thank you letter expressing her gratitude. That letter was seen by Paula Lawrence, Dress for Success’s Executive Director on Facebook, and she offered to bring a smile to Sheri’s face by inviting her to the Dress for Success Boutique for a Suiting.
This was a defining moment for Sheri. After her Suiting experience, she was determined to do better for herself and her son. Sheri began to participate in Job Readiness Programs at Dress for Success and had the opportunity to attend the MGM Women’s Leadership Conference. These experiences helped to inspire Sheri and sharpen her skills. Today, Sheri has a full-time career as Client Coordinator at the Women’s Resource Medical Center of Southern Nevada. She is confident, independent, and the proud owner of her very own car. Sheri was raised by a single mother in government housing, she is breaking the cycle of poverty and committed to providing a better life for her son. When asked to share some words of wisdom for others who might find themselves in similar situations, she said, ‘Dress for Success changed the course of my life, their programs work if you work it!'”