By Rylee Seavers | Staff Writer
In the year that Esther’s Closet has been open, it has had over 170 individual outfittings, provided over 450 outfits and supported over 85 newly employed women, Esther’s Closet Coordinator Rachel Pate said.
Esther’s Closet will celebrate its one-year anniversary and Women’s History Month on Wednesday at the “Women of Distinction Luncheon.”
Esther’s Closet is a local organization that provides workplace outfits to unemployed women at no cost to them. They also provide workplace training, resume writing and business etiquette training to help women excel in the workplace, Pate said.
Laveda Brown, founder and CEO of Esther’s Closet, said that the organization was created to help combat the high poverty rate in Waco. It is named after Esther from the Bible who was an orphan but became the queen of Persia, Brown said.
“It’s amazing what clothes will to do inspire the person to dream, to feel good, to feel confident, to feel strong, to feel empowered,” Brown said. “ It’s amazing to watch the transformation of these women from tired and broken and dejected and overwhelmed to watch them walk out like they’re the queen of Persia.”
Pate said most people view Esther’s Closet as a clothing program, but it also helps build confidence in the women that it serves. Some women are transitioning to a new career, entering the workforce for the first time or are new mothers, Pate said, but the clothes they receive from Esther’s Closet help them succeed and be confident in their new roles.
“To see someone who may not even have an idea of what business professional dress looks like or they’ve never seen themselves outside of their casual clothes or their work uniform, it can really transform their self confidence and their image, their personality and their initiative to get out there and push even harder because they look the part,” Pate said.
Brown said that if she could tell someone only one thing about Esther’s Closet, it would be that it gives women hope for the future, for their careers and for their families.
The “Women of Distinction” luncheon will feature a silent auction and entertainment. The keynote speaker is Commissioner of the Texas Governor’s Commission for Women Karen Harris. All funds raised will go to benefit Esther’s Closet.
Tickets for the luncheon cost $20 and can be purchased online or at the Esther’s Closet office on Elm Street.