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Zonta Club of Burbank hopes to dress women for success

Zonta Club of Burbank hopes to dress women for success
The Zonta Club of Burbank Area is accepting donations for its fourth annual Suit Up clothing drive, in which business attire will be donated to women who are trying to get back into the workforce. (Courtesy of Zonta Club of Burbank Area)

The Zonta Club of Burbank Area is looking to give women who are looking to reenter the workforce an extra boost.

Through Nov. 3, the women-focused service organization is accepting donations of gently-used women’s business attire for its fourth annual Suit Up clothing drive.

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The clothing donated will be given to the Pacoima-based nonprofit MEND and will be sorted and distributed by that organization’s clothing center.

MEND will then distribute the business attire to single mothers in its poverty program, said Brittany Vaughan, lieutenant governor of the Zonta Club of Burbank Area.

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“It’s been wildly popular,” she said. “I think the community really enjoys being able to give to something that is easy to do. It makes everyone feel like their old work clothes are going to a really great cause.”

The main focus of the donation drive is to collect as much work-appropriate attire as possible.

However, Vaughan said people can also donate accessories, such as purses or shoes, which will complement the business clothing.

Vaughan said she isn’t surprised with the amount of clothes her club receives each year, adding that some people tend to live in a throwaway culture.

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However, instead of going to a landfill, she said these clothes can find a new home and help another woman get back on her feet to provide for herself and her family.

While workforce training is important for someone to get a job, Vaughan said clothing is also an integral part of the job-seeking equation that is often overlooked.

“We think about writing a resume or going to financial literacy workshops or things like that, but no one thinks about the person who doesn’t have anything appropriate to wear during their interview,” she said.

“There’s also a lot of information out there about people having the ability to feel good and confident when someone has clothes that are new for them to wear, and they know will be appropriate for an interview. That’s really exciting for me,” she added.

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