• Donated clothing creates teambuilding/philanthropy hybrid
• Invite others to join in on a good cause
• Handbags and accessories are easy to travel with to out-of-town events
Imagine boxing up the pair of slacks that just doesn’t fit quite right, the skirt you swore you would wear more but didn’t, the pumps that always squish your little toe, and a few other accessories you can’t remember the last time you wore and taking them to work with you. But why, you ask? To participate in the Dress for Success® Showdown with your colleagues - that is exactly what team members of Radisson Blu Mall of America (MOA) in Bloomington, MN did during their 2016 Q2 Employee Rally.
According to Noelle Falde, Assistant Director of Human Resources and Stefanie Rahn, Banquets Coordinator at Radisson Blu MOA, the purpose of the all-employee rallies (held quarterly) are to provide a fun all-employee experience in which together everyone enjoys great food, prize giveaways, hears updates from various departments and committees, as well as shares information on upcoming events. Falde further explained, “We aim for one philanthropic event per month, guided by our employee comprised Responsible Business Committee.” Past events include volunteering for the Ronald McDonald House and hosting an employee garage sale and silent auction for the World Childhood Foundation, just to name a few. Thus far in 2016, the hotel staff have donated 210 non-perishable food items, volunteered 46 hours for local causes, and raised approximately $1,500 to fight against child slavery. When asked about yearly goals, Falde clarified that they, “typically set goals specific for each event,” in regard to number of volunteers, items, or amount they want to donate or raise.
For the ‘Showdown,’ participation was key. Rahn recounted, “Having the event idea start with one employee and then evolving from the feedback of other employees resulted in an event that had far more creative depth than if one person had thought it up on their own. From there the employees donated all of the clothing, and departments competed to dress their mannequin in the most stylish and versatile outfit.” The Radisson Blu MOA donated prizes, while two local fashion bloggers, Lindsey Higgins (Lindsey Kate) and David Maxwell (Upperclassmen), were invited to judge the constructed outfits. “This created true competition and added to the fun,” as Rahn recalled.
If you are looking for a fashionably fun event for your group, consider a Dress for Success showdown or fashion show. This type of hybrid event has a lot of potential whether being customized by and for college graduates, having a friendly competition among city committees, or utilizing the CSR and teambuilding qualities for your next corporate meeting or event. If you are looking for a way to give back within an already scheduled event, consider a handbag or accessories (shoes and jewelry) drive, these items are easy to travel with and are always a need according to Kimberly King, Development Manager of Dress for Success Worldwide - Central. Remember, a helping hand can be as little as donating last season’s handbag while meaning so much to another’s self-esteem when entering their next interview. Thank you Radisson Blu Mall of America for being ‘Fashion Forward!’
Find more information on Dress for Success at www.DressForSuccess.org.