Empowering others elevates both individuals and communities. Dress for Success Indianapolis (DFS Indianapolis) is part of a global non-profit organization that helps empower women to achieve economic independence. The DFS headquarters is located in New York, and has been supporting women since 1999. The Indianapolis affiliate, DFS Indianapolis, has been operating for over a decade and has helped thousands of women in the area by providing them with necessary tools, resources, and support to help them thrive in work and life. Simply put, DFS empowers Indianapolis women “step out in style.”
For several years, ParkIndy has provided a donation under the community and the mobile vendor commitment of the parking meter concession to DFS Indianapolis, specifically to provide a range of services to women, including professional attire, career development tools and networking opportunities. These resources help women gain the confidence and skills they need to succeed in their careers and achieve their goals.
“One of the major fundraisers for DFS Indianapolis is Stepping Out in Style, a fashion show that is in its 21st year with the support of ParkIndy,” said DFS Marketing Director Shayla Pinner. “This partnership is significant as it demonstrates the power of businesses and non-profit organizations working together to create positive change in their communities.”
Initially, women who came to DFS Indianapolis were often survivors of domestic violence, had been through the court system, or had been incarcerated. However, the demographic has changed over time, and now women are seeking help due to various reasons such as change in marital status or kids growing up, being laid off, or carrying the burden of work because their spouse can no longer work.
The organization’s Style for Success program provides women with the appropriate clothing for an interview and the first week of a new job. Once they have an offer, the women can come back to get fitted for the job. The program provides not only clothing but also hygiene products, undergarments, nonslip shoes and steel-toe boots.
Additionally, DFS Indianapolis provides career development services, including resume building, mock interviews, ongoing professional development and networking opportunities. Computers are available to help with job searches, applying online and sending resumes. The organization’s success coach provides wrap-around services and helps identify and overcome barriers to employment such as transportation, housing and food.
A small but mighty team of eight staff members, DFS Indianapolis served 600 women in 2022. Volunteers are crucial to the mission, and the biggest need to help with in-person styling, career services and other various activities.
Learn about DFS Indianapolis volunteer opportunities: https://www.indydfs.org/volunteer-opportunities/