Q: Due to moving soon, we have 100-plus pairs of shoes, mostly leather and church shoes, that we need to give away. Where may I donate them besides Goodwill?
Q: One good option would be Dress for Success Winston-Salem, which helps women by providing them with suitable clothing for job interviews. They are always in need of appropriate, new or gently used, shoes.
“We need heels, and flats, and anything they can wear to work, and comfort shoes,” said Brenda McKinney, a board member of Dress For Success. “It depends on where they’re going to be working, so we need a variety of shoes.
“We clean them and make sure they are sanitized. If they have dings in them, we try to either polish them or give them to Goodwill.”
They don’t need bedroom shoes but can take those and donate them to the Salem Pregnancy Care Center. And the program is for women, so they do not need men’s shoes, but can take those to either share with other agencies or sell them at several fundraising events held each year on the Winston-Salem State University campus and elsewhere.
Among the other items they are looking for are interview-appropriate suits and blouses; professional separates including blouses, slacks, skirts, dresses, blazers and jackets; work-appropriate clothes; jewelry and scarves; and handbags, portfolios and briefcases, and toiletry items. They can take new undergarments but not used ones. They can also take evening wear and active wear that can be sold at their fundraisers.
You can find more details about the group’s programs and ways to donate clothes or money at winstonsalem.dressforsuccess.org. To make a donation, call them at 336-970-0374 to make sure someone will be there and take them to the group’s office at 375 Buxton St., which is typically open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can also go to their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/dfsws.
Goodwill does have a program that may be able to put the shoes to good use. Success Outfitters is a “career closet” that provides free clothing to men and women with limited resources as part of its career training program.
The program provides participants with proper attire for job interviews and their first few days on the job once they get hired, giving them time to buy their own clothes. They can take gently used clothing for men or women, including shoes; dress pants and shirts; casual pants and shirts; suits; sport coats; health care uniforms; accessories, such as belts, jewelry, handbags, and so on.
You can contact Mark Smith to schedule a pick-up or a drop-off, either at 336-724-3625, ext. 1387, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the clothing can’t be used in the Success Outfitters program for any reason, it still goes to a good cause in their retail center.
People who are participating in Goodwill’s career-training program, and people in the community who are referred to the program by other groups, can get clothes from Success Outfitters for interviews or work.
More information on the program can be found at www.successoutfitters.org.
You might also want to check with churches in your neighborhood to see if any of them provide clothes closets for people in need.