AVE recently hosted a Professional Clothing Drive at its seven communities in The Greater Philadelphia Area to benefit Career Wardrobe leading up to the organization’s “Hope’s Night Out” fundraiser on June 6 at Moore College of Art & Design in Center City.
Donations of business attire for both men and women poured in during the months of May and June from team members, residents, and partners, resulting in a final donation count of 1,200 articles of professional clothing. The donations were delivered by Diane Miller, Senior Leasing Manager at AVE Malvern, who coordinated the drive, and Eric Konchek, Maintenance Manager at AVE Malvern.
“AVE’s drive exceeded everyone’s expectations and will allow us to help more than 500 individuals prepare for their upcoming job interviews or first day of work,” according to Sheri K. Cole, Executive Director of Career Wardrobe. “We hope to continue this partnership as our supporters in and near King of Prussia responded to the new and convenient way to donate to help unemployed people get ready for work.”
Since 1995, Career Wardrobe has served individuals in Philadelphia with professional clothing, career skills, and confidence necessary to transition to work. To date, they have helped over 85,000 individuals on their journey to independence.
“Our team members are passionate about giving back to the communities in which we do business,” says Lea Anne Welsh, President of AVE and COO of Korman Communities. “I loved that we received so many donations that we had to rent a U-Haul to deliver them to their donation center on Spring Garden Street in Center City.”
A dozen AVE team members attended “Hope’s Night Out” to support Career Wardrobe, along with their spirited leader Lea Anne, who participated in the evening’s “Walk of Hope,” a fashion show highlighting individuals who are Career Wardrobe success stories. Lea Anne walked the runway and introduced Pilar Newsome, a local grandmother who just completed her certification as a Pharmacy Technician. Pilar came to Career Wardrobe last October through the Northwest CareerLink when she needed help with her job search. She then attended the organization’s recent “Work-It” event where she learned how to network both in-person and online. Lea Anne also donated an Empower Hour, a 1-hour mentoring session, for the event’s Silent Auction. The evening resulted in raising more than $80,000 to support Career Wardrobe’s services throughout the region.
“I was so inspired by Pilar’s passion and work ethic. We bonded over our love of family and fitness – we both get up every morning at 4:30 am to work out,” Lea Anne shared. “Career Wardrobe is making a real difference in these peoples’ lives, and we can’t wait to do more as a company to support them.”