A Thank You Letter from

Saturday, December 11, 2021 By:

Dear Marilyn, 
As a proud DC Rotary Grant recipient, I thought that you would like to hear how Suited for Change has been doing!  You all know that our work makes a powerful difference in women’s lives. This year, the women we serve faced enormous challenges: health risks, job losses, transit issues, childcare gaps, eldercare responsibilities, and more. Suited for Change was forced to find one creative way after another to adapt our holistic, woman-to-woman service model in response to a changing environment and unprecedented local needs. 

Our Suiting Program has long relied on uplifting, in-person sessions in our downtown DC Boutique. But with your support, we developed a new Virtual Suiting model that serves women who might struggle to reach us during our daily operating hours. During the health crisis of last winter and spring, 54% of all Suiting Program clients elected to use this virtual option. Even as health conditions have improved, remote programming remains a better fit for some women, and a total of 65 women have benefited from this new resource so far in 2021.
During the pandemic, professional women from all walks of life sought out Suited for Change as a welcoming, meaningful conduit for giving back and supporting other women. This influx of volunteer interest, particularly for at-home and virtual opportunities, aligned with a growing interest among our clients for ongoing mentoring and support services after their initial engagement with SFC. In response, we doubled the number of Professional Coaching Program volunteers in our network to 100 women and dramatically increased the number clients served through this program – from 31 in the first quarter of the year to 54 in the third. 
Our Professional Readiness Workshops also saw a substantial increase in attendance. By offering a variety of relevant content – on topics like interview strategies, Human Resources expectations, and building a personal brand – at our main facility, online, and on-site at partner agencies in neighboring Virginia we have reached a total of 76 women this year. In the face of a changing job market and evolving employer expectations, these workshops are vital for women who have faced sustained unemployment and other difficult personal circumstances as they adjust to the workplace.
Additionally, demand for our services among Latina women is at unprecedented levels, and we have responded by deepening collaborations with peer organizations with special cultural competency and trusting community relationships, recruiting native language speakers to serve as volunteers, and translating our array of workforce development materials into Spanish. We have also implemented trainings from third-party experts on racial equity, unconscious bias, and trauma-informed best practices for our staff and volunteers to ensure that our spaces and services always meet our standards for individualized support rooted in respect, dignity, and community.
These results are only possible thanks to supportive partners like you. Just as 2021 required constant learning and responsiveness, 2022 will bring new challenges and unknowns. We continue to listen intentionally to the women counting on us and with your continued generosity, I know Suited for Change will be able to meet the growing need for job readiness and workforce development services among women in our community.
If you have any questions or are interested in coming for a visit, I would love to hear from you.
With gratitude,
Liz Reinert
Executive Director
Suited for Change