Empowerment at the Heart of Dress for Success

Empowerment at the Heart of Dress for Success

Empowering women in all stages is a goal for the international Dress for Success and the Kelowna chapter is looking for volunteers to join their amazing organization and help it to expand to reach women throughout the Central Okanagan.

The mission of Dress for Success is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. Dress for Success Kelowna (DFSKelowna) started in 2019 and has had a lot of success in creating and strengthening the network.

Tannis Henderson, the program coordinator of DFSKelowna, is an active “single mom to two amazing humans and one dog”. Originally from Edmonton, Tannis has made her home in syilx territory for two years and in addition to her work with DFSKelowna, she also owns two clothing boutiques, is the manager of the Kelowna showroom for an Edmonton-based clothing designer. On top of that, she is also a certified RYT 200-hour yoga instructor and a board member of This Space Belongs to You, a local non-profit whose vision it is to “to provide safer, more inclusive space and resources for 2S/LGBTQIA+, and/or IBPOC people (12 to age 24) within the Syilx Okanagan.”

Tannis has been in her current role for 8 months and prior to that volunteered as a mentor to assist with and IT Development project that helps them to streamline their processes. 

“Our volunteers change the lives of women and non-binary individuals in our community every day, explains Tannis. “They are the heart of our organization, and we would not be able to provide the programs and services we do without them.”

“We are very fortunate to have a strong team of about 100 dedicated volunteers. We offer a variety of roles that are both short (event-specific) and long-term. All of our roles have flexible hours, and most roles are in-person.”

Specific roles they are looking for mentors, committee members for the Watch Her Soar fashion show fundraiser, workshops facilitators and merchandisers. They also need two virtual volunteers that support administration and to be the bookkeeper.

Tannis is proud of the fact that the organization empowers all women, not only their clients. “Our volunteers, staff and donors are all deeply fulfilled and empowered through our work. One of my favourite things about our organization is how many clients continue to work with us as volunteers once they’ve gained some stability with support from our programs. Our services work, they are provided with dignity and that’s why our clients and volunteers are our best ambassadors.”

“We build women up and work in a supportive environment,” adds Tannis. “We work with all volunteers individually to ensure that they don’t just fill a role, that that the role meets their needs and wants as well.” 

To volunteer with this great organization, look on the Volunteer Connector or their website www.dfskelowna.org. To contact Tannis, email programcoordinator@dfskelowna.org.  Follow them on Facebook and Instagram @dressforsuccesskelowna. 

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