I was first introduced to the nonprofit organization, Bottomless Closet, through an old job I used to have at an event planning company. The company I worked for specializes in fundraising events for nonprofit organizations, so I was involved with many organizations at a time, but this particular event stood out to me more than any other one.
Bottomless Closet is an organization that offers disadvantaged women a second chance. They not only provide women with professional attire, but also workshops to enhance the skills they need to thrive in the working world.
Here is “how they work” according to their website:
“Bottomless Closet offers an innovative approach to workforce preparation for disadvantaged New York City women transitioning from unemployment and public assistance to work. Comprehensive services include the selection of high quality interview attire, 1:1 resume review/preparation and interview coaching as well as a broad workshop curriculum that promotes professional development, financial management and personal enrichment. Services and programming, offered through a personalized/one-on-one approach, help eradicate many of the barriers New York City women face in their search for, and retention, of employment. Women are referred through a network of partner organizations once they have a job interview scheduled; Bottomless Closet’s programming is designed to support the transition to work by offering services not routinely offered by job development agencies. Our goal is to enable and empower our clients so they may secure and maintain employment, overcome the challenges of poverty and ultimately reach self-sufficiency. All services and programs are provided free of charge to clients.”
The part that inspired me the most while working at the Bottomless Closet Fundraiser Luncheon was the part when all of the women who have benefitted from their services told each of their stories. It wasn’t what I expected, (a stale speech given to them by the company, telling them to what to say). It was raw and emotional, and I could tell that these women had gone past just using a service to help themselves, but had developed a sisterhood through their common bond and struggles. Women who had been incarcerated, addicted to drugs, and had been homeless before all told the room how all they needed was a second chance, and Bottomless Closet gave that to them. They explained how intimidating it can be to try and get back into the working world when you’re unprepared, and how no one will really even take a second look at you if you’re not dressed properly. Through Bottomless Closet, these women who are now authors, managers, and experts in their fields, explained how this one organization changed their lives forever.
For more information on Bottomless Closet, please visit their website: http://dev.bottomlessclosetnyc.org/