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Wear2Start helps women in need prep for workforce

Fashion show this weekend benefits the non-profit organization

By Dawn Gibson

In today’s economy, job opportunities can be few and far between, so it’s important to make a good first impression when going to an interview.

That’s where Wear2Start comes in — a local non-profit organization that helps prepare women in need for the workforce by supplying them with business appropriate clothing, hair cuts and makeup at no cost.

Penny Catton, who has volunteers with the organization for 10 years, said appearance plays a large role in an employer’s first impression of a job candidate.

“Although we would like to think appearance doesn’t matter, it does. When someone walks into an interview that’s the first thing they notice,” said Catton. “We want to try and level the playing field for these women.”

The women that come through the organization come from all walks of life, but have ended up there for a variety of reasons. Catton has had the opportunity to dress a lot of women, but an experience with one in particular has stuck with her — a 16-year-old who was a recovering drug addict and had been living on the streets for three years.

“I’ll never forget, she wanted a job at Tim Hortons,” said Catton. “We outfitted her in some clothes and she just stood here in tears and said that she had never received a present before in her life. It’s hard to think that we are in a country where we are blessed with so many material goods in our lives, but have a 16-year-old who’s never gotten a present.”

A fashion show is taking place on Sunday, April 23 at the Union Club of B.C. with some of the proceeds going towards funding for Wear2Start. For more information visit