Suit Yourself is an outreach ministry of the United Methodist Women at First United Methodist Church of Pensacola.Â
We have been empowering women in our community to achieve economic independence for over two decades. Suit Yourself offers a free service that provides professional work attire, helping the client to thrive in work and life.
To understand the impact that Suit Yourself has on the women it serves, you first have to know the womenâ€™s stories. Savannahâ€™s story is similar to many of the women who walk through the doors of Suit Yourself.
â€œI got involved in the wrong crowd when I was 20 and 21. I was bartending and partying and got addicted to pain pills. I had a really rough couple of years and went to jail a couple of times.â€
After four years of addiction and a month in jail, Savannah decided she needed to make a change. Reaching out to her family, Savannah made the decision to get help.
During Savannahâ€™s time with Waterfront Rescue Missionâ€™s recovery program for women, a partner agency of Suit Yourself, she overcame addiction and began to focus on career development. She soon received employment from United Way, but was in need of appropriate work attire. Her program counselor referred Savannah to the Suit Yourself program.
â€œI was nervous to go back to work because you donâ€™t feel like you are a productive member of society.Â Itâ€™s hard having to ask for help. When I got there, the women (of Suit Yourself) really loved on me. They made me feel like I was someone worth helping.â€
Savannah believes the clothes that Suit Yourself provided made a big difference in her life. Suit Yourself helped give her the confidence that comes from â€œlooking nice and being put together.â€
â€œI encourage people to use Suit Yourself. Itâ€™s a great experience. It makes you feel like you are really somebody.â€
Savannah story and many others like it are the reason that Suit Yourself continues the mission to empower, inspire, and transform lives.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
1) Gently used and new clothing, or money/gift cards are donated.
2) Clients are referred to Suit Yourself by partnering agency.
3) Volunteers provide a shopping experience and assist clients to provide them with clothing, shoes, new undergarments and accessories.
4) Clients are empowered to succeed on their journey to self-sufficiency and achieve economic independence.