LAWMAKERS SUPPORT YWCA ʻDRESS FOR SUCCESS’ PROGRAM WITH SUCCESSFUL CLOTHING DRIVE
(L-R) Senator Joy A. San Buenaventura, Representative Gregg Takayama, Lieutenant Governor Sylvia Luke, Representative Lisa Kitagawa, Representative Richard H.K. Onishi,
Representative Dee Morikawa, and Representative Nadine K. Nakamura.
Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – In support of women seeking a second chance at success by overcoming poverty, homelessness or incarceration, members of the Hawaiʻi State Legislature recently held a clothing drive for the YWCA O‘ahu Dress For Success Program.
Participants donated hundreds of gently-used professional clothing items to provide support to women in need, in an effort organized by the office of Representative Gregg Takayama (D-34 Pearl City, Waiau, Pacific Palisades) during the week of April 10-14.
"This program provides support to wāhine who are seeking to be succesful in work and in life. Access to professional clothing is a big step in giving them confidence to follow their dreams," said Rep. Takayama.
During his tenure as Chair of the House Public Safety Committee, Rep. Takayama had the opportunity to work with YWCA's Fernhurst program, a Correctional Work Furlough and Halfway House program for Women Inmates on Oʻahu. The Makiki facility supports women transitioning from incarceration. Rep. Takayama learned that securing employment is critical for successfully reintegrating into society, and that the YWCA of O'ahu's Dress for Success program offers professional clothing and interview preparation for women in need. Rep. Takayama encouraged lawmakers and staff to support this cause by starting what has become a popular collection event at the Capitol.
This year, over 80 bags of attire including dresses, blazers, accesories, shoes, handbags, and new undergarments were donated by state and city lawmakers, Capitol staffers, and community members. Additionally, a local dry cleaning company that happened to be making a delivery to the Capitol saw the clothing drive flyer in the elevator, and decided to contribute several garments that were abandoned by its original owners.
“Dress for Success is about empowering women by building confidence and giving women the tools and support to thrive in work and in life. We are grateful for the ongoing support of Representative Takayama’s office and the Hawaiʻi State Legislature," said YWCA O‘ahu Economic Advancement Director Stephanie Hamano. "It is because of the support and generosity of the community that we are able to offer all services free of charge to women in the community.”
"The amount of clothing and accessories donated this year far exceeds our last drive in 2019, and shows the generosity and support of our lawmakers and staff for this great YWCA program," said Rep. Takayama.
For more information on Dress for Success Honolulu, visit www.ywcaoahu.org/dress-for-success-honolulu.