Local branch of nonprofit 'Dress for Success' forced to close because of pandemic

Posted at 9:58 AM, Oct 19, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Across the United States, many businesses are struggling because of the pandemic. The local non-profit branch of 'Dress for Success' also had to dismantle because of COVID-19.

The non-profit started in Lexington in 2013. Since then, they've helped about one thousand local women with not only dressing for a corporate job but networking, job placement, and, most importantly, confidence. Aleysia Hughes is one of those women. She became a member a little over a year ago. At the time, Aleysia was working as a temp, but this week, she will begin classes to become a paralegal, something she says never would have been possible without the people that helped her here.

"I picked up different ideas and careers that I want for myself because of 'Dress for Success' and because of the people that referred me, so I feel like I'm going to be more successful because of them," she says.

Now, the non-profit is selling off its entire inventory and donating the proceeds to charity. COVID-19 made it not only more challenging to raise money, but when businesses shut down, the need for many of their service also came to a halt.

"A lot of our clients work in the service and hospitality industry, and of course their doors were closed, and for a lot of our new clients, those jobs were typically an entry-level position that we would find for our new clients," says one of their volunteers, Lindsay Thurston. "We didn't have any demand for our services during the shutdown."

They say it is unlikely they will resume services once the pandemic is over, but they are hopeful other local non-profits will fill their place in the community.