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Review for Suited for Change, Washington, DC, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

Learning computers is a piece of cake for our clients compared to walking into their first job interview. When you've been down-and-out for so long, how do you find the confidence in yourself... how do you find the respect for yourself... that a prospective employer expects? I have met with former and current clients, and it's always an experience that chokes me up. Women who are standing tall and proud, who feel good about themselves and are confident about the possibilities their life now holds... Women who said "I want more", and then went out and got it. What they say most often they got from Suited is not clothing - it's respect. Respect FROM the staff, and FOR themselves. We treat them as valued customers. And every woman finds what she needs, from petite to tall, large to small... no woman is sent home without work-appropriate clothes. Clients are assigned a 'personal shopper' who coaches them on styles and colors and what works for THEIR needs. They also learn about the "SOFT SKILLS" training Suited offers - for free - to all our clients, where women learn not just to write a resume, but how to handle a difficult boss; not just what clothing is appropriate, but how to create a houseold budget. There are so many things we all take for granted,and Suited knows that these women can't afford to take anything for granted. I joined the Board 5 years ago to provide a fresh pair of eyes with a background in procurement and IT. I've watched Suited overcome myriad challenges ranging from the economic downturn to the untimely loss of two executive directors in little over a year. That is no mean feat - the recession has killed larger and better-funded non-profits in the area. I specifically would like to call out the outstanding management of current executive director Tyna Gaylor as a major factor in Suited's survival these past few years. I cannot say enough about Suited for Change, but don't take my word for it... SAP, the German international Fortune-500 sofware maker for whom I work, has been a corporate donor for five years going into the sixth year this fall. Suited for Change sells itself with outstanding results, client testimonials, and continual and innovative changes to our mission and services as the needs of local women evolve. Suited for Change does all of this without recieving a single penny of District or Federal funds - something I hope we can change for ourselves!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Discussing the experiences of our clients with our clients first-hand, and also through conversations with our volunteers - long-term and corporate 'one-time' event volunteers - and donors.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Secure District grant or procurement-related funding for Suited's services to area residents, as Suited's services augment services delivered through City contracts awarded for job readiness training provided by for-profit companies.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Seeing what a difference even one encounter makes in the life of a woman who uses Suited's services.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Passionate, dedicated, friendly, and caring.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Expand operations and staff, including a full-time program coordinator to run more, and more frequent, skills training sessions; and a retail space to suit clients, generate income, and offer real-world training.

Ways to make it better...


In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Securing long-term funding sources, small size of staff (which are, of course, related).

One thing I'd also say is that...

When you hear "Suited for Change" you think "CLOTHING".... but you can't pay the rent or run a computer with clothes - Suited needs MONEY to be able to keep suiting women... Please give generously!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


Role:  Board Member & I've been on the Board for 5 years, the last 2 as Treasurer, and am a personal donor and represent a corporate grantor.