Volunteer News

December 2015 Update

 

Holiday Office Closures

Please note, Bottomless Closet will be closed for the holidays on December 24th, and December 28-31. We will reopen on Monday, January 4th. We hope you enjoy this time with family and friends and we look forward to seeing you in 2016!!!

Thank you to those of you who were able to attend the Client Graduation last week at Wells Fargo. It was a great evening celebrating the hard work and accomplishments of Bottomless Closet clients who graduated from our Professional Development and Financial Management workshop series!! Here are a few pictures from the event:

clientgrad15b             clientgrad15c             clientgrad15a

 

January Lunch and Learn

Save the date for our first Lunch and Learn of 2016! On Monday, January 11th at 11am, we will hear an update on the search for Bottomless Closet’s next Executive Director, share tips for keeping the boutique portion of the appointment to 30 minutes or less, and much more! Please register here if you are able to attend.

 

MarshaClient

What Volunteers are Saying 

After seeing the labor and love that the Container Store put into redesigning our boutique, Wednesday volunteer Bette K. said, “This boutique is so amazing! It’ll give Bergdorfs competition!!!”

 

Client Inspiration

“This is a warm and professional environment, full of people who really care. The clothing is more beautiful than I ever expected . . . I am truly grateful for my time here.”

-  Thursday Volunteer Judy H.’s client, Helen O.

 

 Helen

Make Your Holiday Online Shopping Count

Did you know that online shopping done through We-Care.com and AmazonSmile.com results in donations to Bottomless Closet? The next time you find yourself in the midst of some online retail therapy, shop using either application and a portion of your purchase price will be donated directly to Bottomless Closet. Click on either icon below to get started.

wecare         

And if you want to have access to both We-care and AmazonSmile at once, go to https://bottomlesscloset.we-care.com/smileplus

 

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November 2015 Update

Make Your Holiday Online Shopping Count!

amazonsmilewe-care.com

Did you know that online shopping done through We-Care.com and AmazonSmile.com results in donations to Bottomless Closet? The next time you find yourself in the midst of some online retail therapy, shop using either application and a portion of your purchase price will be donated directly to Bottomless Closet.
If shopping through We-Care, simply go to Bottomless Closet’s we-care page at http://bottomlesscloset.we-care.com/Downloads and start shopping!
If shopping through Amazon, follow these easy steps:
1. Log on to http://www.smile.amazon.com. You will be asked to log into your existing Amazon account.
2. You will be prompted to select a charitable organization. Type “Bottomless Closet” in the search box, and select “Bottomless Closet New York”. Amazon will remember your charitable designation for all future purchases.
3. Each time you return to Amazon, log in using http://www.smile.amazon.com and Bottomless Closet will receive a portion of the purchase price at no additional cost to you.
4. Please note, amazon.com and smile.amazon.com are the same account, however, only purchases made through the AmazonSmile login will be eligible for the donation.

And if you want to have access to both We-care and AmazonSmile at once, go to https://bottomlesscloset.we-care.com/smileplus

Happy Shopping!!!

Client Inspiration

“My employment specialist Marsha was very attentive . . . and excellent with helping me express my experience and characteristics to future interviewers. I feel very confident I will be back to ring the bell because I will get the job.”
– Tuesday Volunteer Marsha G’s Client, November 2015

Make Your Holiday Online Shopping Count!

Did you know that online shopping done through We-Care.com and AmazonSmile.com results in donations to Bottomless Closet? The next time you find yourself in the midst of some online retail therapy, shop using either application and a portion of your purchase price will be donated directly to Bottomless Closet.

Did Your Client Get the Job?

After nearly a year of tracking volunteer/client information, we have the answer! Check out the Volunteer area the next time you are in the office to see a list of all of the post-hire appointments for the previous month as well as the volunteer(s) who worked with those clients for their pre-interview appointment. We hope you will enjoy seeing that, thanks to your help, Yes! She did get the job!!!

Volunteer Holiday Breakfast

Save the date and come celebrate the holidays with us on December 17th from 9:00am-10:30am. We will resume our Lunch and Learn series in 2016, so stay tuned!

November Lunch and Learn Recap

We celebrated our beautiful new boutique – a direct result of the Container Store’s generous contribution that “put the closet in Bottomless Closet!” A thank you note written by the Volunteer Committee and signed by those present at the Lunch and Learn will be sent to the Container Store to convey the positive impact they’ve made here!

Plus size suits have been ordered and should arrive by the end of the year!!!
Make sure to read the lovely email posted in the Volunteer area that we received from the Women’s Prison Association, a referral partner, regarding a client’s recent experience at Bottomless Closet.
Coaching Resource
Thursday volunteers, Mira Graetz-Ball and Karlien De Mot, put together a helpful worksheet entitled “Take Ownership of the Interview” which they use when coaching clients about hard versus soft skills. Pick up your copy from Cheryl!
Cover Letters and Thank You Notes
Anne Blackman did a fantastic presentation on cover letters and thank you notes. She shared that 70% of hiring managers of corporations consider cover letters and thank you notes to be a significant part of the hiring process. Two handouts are available at Cheryl’s desk.
Inventory Updates
Volunteer Committee Co-Chair, Judy Hunt, reminded everyone to work together to keep the volunteer area and restrooms clean. Supplies are located under the sink in the restrooms, and in the “secret” storage closet located in the boutique area.
Also, it is important for us all to be consistent when conveying expectations to clients when it comes to the clothing we are giving. Rather than promising a client that she will get two outfits for a pre-interview appointment, please say “We are going to get you outfitted for your interview!” As a reminder, you can give up to 2 outfits if they are available and you are able to do so in 30 minutes or less.
Additionally, we thank you for your patience as our inventory ebbs and flows. If we are low on inventory, please apologize to the client and let her know she can return on a later date. Please document this conversation on the paperwork.
Volunteering at Job Fairs
Judy Hunt and Anne Blackman attended a job fair on behalf of Bottomless Closet and were able to easily spot our 5 clients who showed up beautifully dressed and carrying their red folders! Job and resource fairs are a wonderful opportunity for volunteers to interact with our referral partners, clients and potential clients, and other organizations in NYC. They are an important way of spreading the word about our services to our community. Please let us know if you’d like to attend a job fair on behalf of Bottomless Closet in the future!
Client to Volunteer Ratio
In Spring 2015, we took a poll and overwhelmingly volunteers said they preferred to work with two clients per shift. We again polled the volunteers present at November’s Lunch and Learn and nearly 100% affirmed this. Because we schedule clients according to this information, please make sure to let Cheryl know as soon as possible if you plan to come in and prefer not to see 2 clients. We appreciate as much advance notice as you can give us so that we can adjust accordingly!!
Flowing and Floating in the New Space
We have been playing with the flow of client appointments in our new space. When the dressing rooms are full, volunteers may be asked to do their coaching first, which will also allow Paola to receive resumes earlier and avoid a backlog.
We will also aim to have a member of the Volunteer Committee serve as a floater during each shift to maintain a neat and orderly space in the boutique/sorting room, restock inventory, and assist fellow volunteer team members in locating clothing/shoes and accessories for clients. Also at the end of each shift the floater is asked to recruit another volunteer to assist with taking the full Wearable Collections bags to basement storage. Our goal is to keep the sorting room as clutter free and comfortable as possible and to avoid any fire hazards.

Come Shop at Carlisle!!

As many of you know, our offices were previously occupied by the administrative offices of Carlisle. Carlisle’s showroom is still located on Floor 16 of our building, and our upstairs neighbor has extended an offer to all volunteers to come up to see the showroom (and perhaps do a little shopping in the process!). Please contact Carlisle Wardrobe Consultant, Viva Bhogaita, at 212-752-6490 or vbhogaita@carlisleny.com to set up a time to view the latest collection (get a preview here).

June 2015 Update

Movin’ on Up!!!

We have moved uptown and are officially at our new location at 16 East 52nd Street! A huge thank you to all of the volunteers who assisted us in the months, weeks and days leading up to the move, as well as to those volunteers who have been helping us settle in to our new beautiful space over the past few weeks. We couldn’t have done it without you!
As we continue to settle in, we are incredibly excited for things to come and would like to share with you projects that are in the works:
Boutique: the boutique will be redone in the coming months, complete with enhanced lighting and layout for inventory and dressing rooms!! In the meantime, we thank you for your patience, and encourage you to give us your feedback in the red Suggestion Box located in the volunteer area.
Volunteer Space: just arrived is a beautiful new volunteer sofa, and on order are a new volunteer table and coaching tables! Additionally, all volunteers will receive a new magnetic name badge.
Branding: the office will soon be decorated with inspriational branding, logos, before and after pictures, quotes and our mission.
Open House: we will host several Open Houses in September to officially welcome everyone to the new space. Please stay tuned for details over the summer.
Thank you again and we welcome you to our new space!!

Client Inspiration

“I appreciate all of your assistance!! I was blessed to secure full time employment in Washington DC. It’s in my field and certainly a beginning!!! I love my outfits!!! They help in my confidence…” – Client, Summer 2015

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities

Happy Summer!!! Please email smcfadin@bottomlessclosetnyc.org if your schedule has some flexibility and you might be able to give us a day here and there in July and August. Any additional support you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

September Lunch and Learn

Save the date for our next Lunch & Learn – Wednesday, September 16th, from 11am-12:30pm. We will discuss the move and new procedures, Programming will give an overview of referral partners, and you will learn how to improve upon a resume when your client has little to no work experience. For this and much more, please register HERE!!!

February 2015 Update

Volunteer Appreciation Night!

Come and join Bottomless Closet as we celebrate YOU on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 from 5:30pm-7:30pm at the home of Reva Wurtzburger!!  If you are able to attend and have not already registered, RSVP HERE.  We hope you can make it!

Register for the March Lunch & Learn

Come Lunch!  Come Learn!  On Tuesday, March 10th, from 11:00am-12:30pm, Bottomless Closet’s Development Consultant, Sarah Beth Lardie, will speak about volunteer fundraising. The Resume lesson will focus on Skills. For this and much more, please register HERE if you are able to attend!

February Lunch & Learn Recap 

Resume Accomplishments – Part 2

Building on January’s Lunch & Learn lesson on resumes, Anne Blackman and participants engaged “client” Paola Hill in a discussion of her former employment and created accomplishment bullet points. Here’s what we came up with:

Home Health Care Aide

  • Established relationships with families resulting in improved care for clients
  • Engaged client by reading to stimulate client’s memory and ability to communicate
  • Introduced new methodology to peers to build relationships with clients

Assistant Teacher

  • Assisted teacher by providing individualized instruction in math, science and reading
  • Instrumental in improving test scores from below grade level to next grade level and above
  • Gained teacher’s trust and confidence to implement one-on-one projects
  • Entrusted to resolve conflicts resulting in a better classroom environment

If you can formulate at least one bullet point articulating an accomplishment for each job, your client will stand out from the pack!

What Keeps You Coming Back?

Gineyda Diaz, freshly back from a course on marketing, led a series of exercises that helped the group articulate why volunteers are drawn to and stay engaged with Bottomless Closet — affecting how we speak about Bottomless Closet to clients, new volunteers, visitors, and others.  The group distilled 5 words from these exercises: Transformation, Collaboration, Humanity, Growth, and Dedication.  Take a moment and reflect why you volunteer with Bottomless Closet and what keeps you coming back. What word comes to your mind?

Workshop Curriculum

Lakeisha provided an overview of Bottomless Closet’s Workshop Curriculum in the three areas of Professional Development, Financial Management, and Personal Enrichment. Workshop participants can earn certificates in Professional Development and Financial Management by attending a combination of core and elective workshops in each series. Core workshops are held each trimester and elective workshops once a year. Clients wishing to participate can register online via a link included in our electronic workshop flyer or through the client page of our website. As an incentive for attending workshops, clients earn shopping bags to fill free of charge at Separates Night.

Tami Peter spoke in depth about the Financial Management workshop series. Did you know that the top financial goal of Bottomless Closet clients is to be debt-free? The second most popular goal is to own a home! Financial Management core curriculum workshops, held once a trimester, include Financial Goal Setting and Budgeting; Understanding and Improving Your FICO Score and Credit Report; and How to Become Debt-Free. Elective workshop topics include the Financial Bootcamp (focusing on significantly reducing client debt over a 6 month period); Investing; the Homebuying Process; Selecting the Correct Insurance; and Saving and Paying For College. More information about the Financial Management workshops is available on the Volunteer Table.

Volunteers are always needed to help set up for workshops and check in clients. Additionally, please feel free to attend any of our workshops so that you can better speak about our offerings to your clients! Click HERE for the workshop calendar.

January 2015 Update

Shopping Online? Make Your Purchase Go Further!!

Last March, We-Care promoted Bottomless Closet as its “Cause of the Month,” resulting in a donation of over $6,000 to Bottomless Closet!!!
The next time you find yourself in the midst of some online retail therapy, shop using the We-Care.com or AmazonSmile application and a portion of your purchase price will be donated directly to Bottomless Closet.
To have access to shopping on We-Care and AmazonSmile at once, go to https://bottomlesscloset.we-care.com/smileplus
Happy Shopping!!!

Register for the February Lunch & Learn

We hope you can join us for our next Lunch & Learn on Monday, February 2nd.  Tami Peter will discuss the Financial Management workshop series that is a significant part of Bottomless Closet’s workshop offerings.  Come to learn more about the curriculum, and the financial challenges our clients face.  We will also continue our resume workshop focusing on Accomplishments.   Register here!

Call for Coats

Winter is bearing down on all of us and Bottomless Closet is already dangerously low on coats. We are asking all volunteers to help spread the word to family and friends to donate work-appropriate winter coats. Thank you for your help!!!

January Lunch & Learn Recap Landing picture1

Resume Brush Up
Anne Blackman and Sheila Lambert, accompanied by Susan Monk, demonstrated how to develop accomplishments into bullet points for your clients’ resumes, keeping in mind that accomplishments are different than job responsibilities. Ask your client questions such as “did you make any improvements, did you exceed sales quotas, what would your manager say about you?” Pick up your copy of this Resume Brush Up, available on the Volunteer Table.

What’s new in 2015?
Kendall announced plans to relocate to a space in Midtown. At this point the timing is uncertain, but we will keep everyone up to date as things develop.

Congratulations to Roberta Dougherty who will receive the Luise Kleinberg Award for Volunteerism at the Annual Spring Luncheon on May 11, 2015!
A new Post-Hire Guide is now in the black folders for all post-hire client appointments. Pick up a copy the next time you’re in the office (available on the Volunteer Table) to familiarize yourself with the content before your next Post-Hire client appointment.
Volunteer Survey: A Volunteer Survey created by a student at Columbia Business School’s Non-profit Board Leadership Program was recently distributed to all volunteers. Your feedback as a volunteer is incredibly important to us. If you haven’t already taken the survey, please click HERE.
Review of Donation Policy: Clothing donations are for the benefit of Bottomless Closet clients. If you come across an item that you cannot live without and would like to keep for yourself, please show the item to Kendall and make a monetary donation. Donation amounts should be based on the label, condition, and whether the clothing would have been appropriate for Bottomless Closet’s inventory. Items purchased by Bottomless Closet must remain in Bottomless Closet’s inventory (plus-sized suits, pearls, etc.) Thank you for your cooperation!

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer Appreciation Night:  We’re celebrating YOU on February 25, 2015 from 5:30pm-7:30pm at the home of Reva Wurtzburger!!  Please register HERE if you are able to attend.  We hope you can make it!

 

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