"Here's my close-up on every surface, because the details tell a story…"
Interview with Fiona Hogg for the Community Producers Magazine on Shaw TV
Last May, I had the good fortune to join the Dress for Success Vancouver‘s team as a volunteer. This internationally renowned charity empowers women into the workforce by providing them with professional outfits, career services, and skills development program. Their projects and programming are impressive – from dressing services, career center and professional women’s group. What is even more inspiring is the volunteers’ passion and enthusiasm in preparing women for the job they want and helping them look their best.
In 2015, over thousands women went to DFS Vancouver for an interview outfit and more than 500 for additional clothing once they received employment. Moreover, 18 seminars and workshops were held in the Career Center with over 800 women in attendance. I am very impressed with the dignity of these women, who have experienced low moments in their lives, but they managed to overcome their issues and troubles by finally finding their own path within the society. “There are moments in our life that we feel like a sponge soaking in all the suffering around us. We mustn’t fall inside of ourselves,” Jennifer Halinda, DFS Vancouver Executive Director, said.
Women can often be invisible and DFS Vancouver is here to make them visible. When you empower a woman to change her life, you uplift her family, you inspire her community and you change the world. On this note, I reported about a successful story at DFS Vancouver last Thursday. Being involved in creating a story that moves me, that makes me think and that makes life more exciting, it’s what drives me the most. Especially, reporting on strong and beautiful women who teach other women to go out into the world to make a difference.
Later last Thursday, in the DFS Vancouver headquarters in Downtown, I had the pleasure to interview a beautiful, confident and intelligent woman who in her mid-fifties, and within a short period of time, lost her father and was laid off from what she hoped was her last job before retirement. With a brother here in Vancouver, she decided to leave Calgary behind. The move came with many challenges but she finally secured an interview. With nothing suitable to wear, she was referred to Dress for Success Vancouver for an interview outfit: “What an experience,” she said, “I came away from that visit not just with an amazing outfit but with a sense of renewed confidence.” Fiona Hogg is currently enrolled in Dress for Success Vancouver’s 18 month Professional Women’s Program. She was a brand ambassador for the IMPACT 360 fundraiser in May 2016 and she also volunteers for the City of Vancouver.
Back to the job, she was hired as Concierge at CBRE, a commercial real estate company situated in the new MNP Tower in Downtown Vancouver. This position started in a temporary capacity, but became permanent August 1st: “I still have lots to learn about commercial real estate,” she stated, “but I love playing Mom to a most supportive group of people.” When CBRE’s management team recently found out that Dress for Success Vancouver was recognizing her with this year’s Inspiration Award at IMPACT 360, they wanted to know how they could get involved. In October 2016, Fiona will host a Suit Drive for Success, and she hopes to take the initiative Canada wide with the other CBRE’s national offices. “IMPACT 360 was a super experience. I was allowed to share my story and explain how DFS Vancouver has been helping me so far,” she said. She also added: “I am making new friends in my new city; and I am also making a contribution to give back to an organization that has given so much to me.”
My interview with Fiona Hogg will air on the Community Producers Magazine on Shaw TV Vancouver this October 6th. The entire video will be soon available on YouTube.
I invite you all to think about how you can make a difference within your own community.
For more info about volunteer opportunities and for donation guidelines visit the website: www.dfsvancouver.org.
Stay tuned with me for another successful story on the Community Producers Magazine.