Editor’s Note: Jonathan Copeland set an example that other employees interested in helping those in need can emulate. He found a CVC charity he wanted to help (Dress for Success, which provides clothing for low-income women who need to upgrade their wardrobes for interviews and jobs), trained with them to become a volunteer, brought his idea for a fundraiser to TAX’s CVC Committee, and then led the effort. It was a big success for both the charity and TAX. Remember, classified employees get 16 hours of community service leave a year that is ideal for something like this.
The trunk of my Jeep is finally relieved of all donations received during the Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign (CVC) Dress for Success Accessory Drive which ran from Nov. 17 to Dec. 5. I traveled many times between TAX and the DFS boutique to deliver the donations. The final tally of items collected was 750, along with a cash donation of $25. Based on the Salvation Army’s Donation Value Guide, and using the mid-range value for each type of item, the total value of the items came to $4,686.
This added a huge boost to TAX's goal of $23,000 for the year. In fact, the drive was the single largest contribution toward the agency's CVC goal.
“I’m amazed at the outcome!” said Bente Clatchey, TAX’s CVC program manager. “It was an awesome idea. I’d love to have other employees come forward who are interested in helping certain charities and work with us. We are always open to new ideas.”
I was surprised and impressed not only by the number of items that was collected, but the type of items received. Even though the drive was only calling for accessories, I still received many clothes and suits that I delivered to the DFS Boutique. Items that were not suitable to be worn to a job were put aside for use in the 3rd Annual Dress for Success Fundraiser Fashion Show on April 17.
|The Dress for Success Fashion Show Committee says, "Thank you TAX!" Pictured from left are Shandra Thompson, Melisa Ross, Jonathan Copeland, Shantell Malachi, Cathy Durrette and Tiffany Malory|
Fashion Show Coordinator Melissa Ross expressed her gratitude, saying that because of the Department of Taxation, the clothing donations received were enough to create six “Recycled Garment” bags. These bags will be given to each participating designer who will be able to recycle the pieces donated and invent three couture red carpet looks to showcase their talent in the show. We hope to bring in 20 designers and have seven confirmed so far.
“At last year’s show the local talent literally blew my mind by creating gorgeous evening wear looks mixed with casual looks, all created from a bag of random clothes!” said Ross.
Dress for Success is asking TAX for further support in gathering the resources needed to make the show even grander and bring more awareness to the affiliate. Along with recruiting designers/stylists, DFS is asking for donations.
If you are a designer/stylist or know of any who would be interested in participating, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also looking for backstage volunteers, make-up artists, hair stylists, and photographers/videographers who are interested in donating time to the DFS mission.
We are also seeking donations of products or gift cards that can be used for our silent auction, door prizes and raffle. Anyone interested in promoting a business by donating gift cards or products for this event is welcome.