As you may have heard by now, The Power of the Purse in Berks County Fund was created at the Community Foundation in 2012 by local women who pooled their resources to make a positive difference in the lives of women and girls in Berks County.

As the group considered some of the many issues faced by women and girls, one insight emerged repeatedly: Women who have the support and skills they need to be gainfully employed are empowered to improve their quality of life.

For many women, employment is not only a matter of empowerment; it’s a matter of survival. Unfortunately, barriers such as the ability to afford adequate childcare, a lack of transportation, a gap in skills, or missing information about their options keep some women and girls from reaching their full potential.

Fortunately, there are several local programs that help women connect to the workplace. One of the programs is run through the non-profit Berks Counseling Center and is called The Re-Style Boutique. The boutique is located in a storefront at 645 Penn Street in Reading. It provides appropriate clothing for women who are going on interviews.

I reached out to the Re-Style Boutique in November when a speaker I’d scheduled to talk to our Power of the Purse Fund committee had to cancel two hours before the meeting. The ladies at the Boutique tried to help me find an alternate speaker, which I really appreciated.

A few weeks later, I learned that the Boutique was in need of clothing for its clients.

I thought I’d pass that information on to you in case you have professional clothing (or scrubs, etc.) that you no longer wear and may be of use to someone else. If you do, consider donating them to the Boutique. Click here for the store’s brochure to learn more.

Best wishes for a prosperous 2013,

Heidi Williamson
Vice President for Grantmaking and Communication