Giving back to women in need, at home and abroad, is a fundamental part of the CAbi Community, which is why we asked you to show (and tell!) us how you give back! Whether it is donating your time, your talents, or your money, you spoke loud and clear that CAbi Girls have some of the biggest hearts around! And now we’re honored to announce the five winners of the CAbi Spring ’12 Mother’s Day Giveaway. Each winner will receive 150 new CAbi garments for the charity they give back to.
Nominator: Liz Muirhead
Mission Statement: To improve the employment opportunities of disadvantaged women by providing work-appropriate attire, wardrobe guidance, and life skills workshops.
Liz’s Statement: I work at a company that has been holding an annual clothing drive for Wings for Success for over a decade. I act as a building captain for over 400 employees, promoting the drive, educating employees about the organization, and collecting and sorting donations. Working in a professional environment, I have seen the difference it can make when a woman has professional attire – she is perceived as more credible, more professional, and is more likely to be promoted or given more challenging work with more exposure. I have heard and been touched by the personal stories of clients of Wings for Success and want all women who want to work to not be held back from seeking a good-paying job for lack of office-appropriate attire.
Nominator: Allyson Curtis
Mission Statement: Working Wardrobes empowers men, women, young adults, and veterans overcoming difficult challenges to confidently enter the workforce and achieve self-sufficiency. We provide career training, job placement assistance, and wardrobe services in an environment of dignity and respect.
Alllyson’s Statement: I am serving Working Wardrobes as an AmeriCorps VISTA member and have found the organization to fit perfectly with where I am in my life at this point. I believe this is where I am supposed to be and that I ended up here for a reason. I am a Marine spouse and appreciate any support organizations give to the families of the military, including Working Wardrobes. Working Wardrobes believes in second chances and offers exactly that to their clients through career development opportunities, job placement assistance, and professional wardrobing. Leaving the military to enter civilian life, surviving an abusive relationship, overcoming addiction – these are all extremely difficult challenges that people face on a daily basis, and few have the support they need to successfully come out on the other side. Working Wardrobes is that support. They offer more than just tangible goods; the growth and change within is worth so much more and is what actually provides the chance at a new life for their clients. I believe in the mission and work that Working Wardrobes does because I have seen firsthand the impact it has made on people’s lives.
Nominator: Teresa West
Mission Statement: The Junior League of Pensacola, Inc. is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.
Teresa’s Statement: As a member of the Junior League of Pensacola, I have given my time and money to support the League’s signature projects and fundraisers. The primary focus of these efforts is to assist the more than 3,000 children in foster care in Northwest Florida and the families that care for them. The agencies that provide care for these children turn to the Junior League of Pensacola for volunteer support and access to resources that the children and families lack and that the agency lacks funds to provide. I have participated in projects designed to support these children and their new families. Among other things, we have refurbished visiting rooms and homes, provided training for girls aging out of the foster care system, and organized drives for car seats, pack-n-plays, pajamas, diapers, and other necessities that foster families need but are rarely provided. All of our members devote our time and financial support to the children who grow up in the “system” and the families that support them. The League would be able to give the donated clothing from CAbi to area foster mothers who devote their time and money to the children in their care, as well as the young girls transitioning out of the foster care system to a state of self-sufficiency and independence.
Nominator: Alysia Johnson
Mission Statement: The mission of Domestic Violence Services of Benton & Franklin Counties, a non-profit agency, is to advocate for and empower domestic violence victims by providing free, safe, and confidential shelter and support services.
Alysia’s Statement: I began on the board in 2005 as the treasurer and now chair the board. During this time I have seen the organization grow as the need grows in the community for our services. There are an average of 8 to 15 women and 10 to 20 children in the shelter, which is a lot. Many of the women leave their homes with the clothes on their backs because they are more concerned with getting what their kids need first. This makes it hard for them to go forward as they usually don’t have the funds to buy a new wardrobe. In addition to the board, I have helped in the planning & running of our fundraising golf tournament. We are in our seventh year, which has been a blessing to be able to raise money for the cause. I also assist in the annual cell phone drive that allows law enforcement to hand out an emergency phone to victims to be able to call 911 if they need to. It usually takes about seven times before a victim has enough strength to leave their abuser. It feels good to hear letters from women we have served thanking us for being here and helping them survive the horrible situations they were in. This organization has shown me that it is necessary to help those in need of our services and give them the strength to move forward and succeed for themselves and their children.
Nominator: Georgia Boggs
Mission Statement: CAMP KEMO believes that a week of summer camp for children with cancer and their siblings is a way of providing them with a positive childhood experience. Through sharing this experience with children with the same concerns, it is hoped that each child will gain strength and support. The focus of activities and interactions will be to emphasize the positive abilities of each child, to help increase the child’s self-esteem, and to begin preparation for re-entry into the mainstream of life.
Georgia’s Statement: I have raised more than $30,000 for Camp Kemo over the last five years. Currently, I serve on the board for their signature fundraising event, Kemopalooza. In addition to fundraising, I have also coordinated Christmas donations for the families of campers. Families of children with cancer have extraordinary expenses outside of medical care. Often, one parent quits their job to care for the child, greatly depleting the family’s income. Understandably, the wants and needs of other family members are low priorities.