Dress Your Best

Giving Back to Toronto: Dress Your Best

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to visit the women's division of Dress Your Best to get an in-depth look at the wonderful services this charitable organization offers. Dress Your Best fills a very unique niche in the employment-aid sector by providing men and women who have undergone employment workshops with the clothing they need to approach their potential employers with comfort and confidence.

Dress Your Best

Besides two full-time and one part-time employee, Dress Your Best is assisted by almost 60 volunteers at two locations: one for men and one for women. (Interestingly, women make up approximately 75% of the clients, most of whom are recent immigrants to Canada). Currently in its ninth year, the organization serves a crucial role in helping those on the cusp of employment enter the workforce.

Dress Your Best

Anyone who has worked in the non-profit sector in Toronto knows the awful situation many new immigrants face. Caught in the double bind of not having landed immigrant status without a period of full-time employment, and, at the same time, not being able to find a job because they are not landed immigrants, many people who were professionals in their native country enter into marginal and non-standard work environments.

Employment workshops have been established for people in these kinds of situations, so that they might escape such vicious cycles. And by providing the participants of these workshops with appropriate attire, Dress Your Best takes people one step closer to getting a good job.

Dress Your Best

Dress Your Best

The Women's Boutique recently moved into Toronto's annex, and is currently located in a former chapel in the Walmer Centre. The friendly staff and the interesting aesthetic make for a warm and welcoming atmosphere. On average, about twenty-five to thirty clients come through the women's boutique each day.

If you are interesting in giving your time to this worthy cause, you must be willing to commit at least two hours at either location on your first visit. The women's boutique is open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am-8pm, and the men's location is open on Mondays from 10am-6pm. If you are interested, please send an e-mail to: volunteer@dressyourbest.ca

If you want to donate clothing, remember that Dress Your Best assists those about to enter the workforce - so clothing must be geared toward this aim. You can drop off clothes at either location during their hours of operation (but only on Wednesdays at the women's location). If you have any questions about donating clothes, please send an e-mail to: closetcleanout@dressyourbest.ca

Women's Boutique :
Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am-8pm
c/o The Walmer Centre
188 Lowther Avenue, 3rd floor
Toronto, Ontario
M5R 1E8

Men's Boutique:
Mondays from 10am-6pm
c/o WoodGreen East York Rotary Neighbourhood House
280 Donlands Avenue, 2nd floor
Toronto, Ontario
M4J 3R4

For further directions, please visit their website.

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