« Back to Blog

Spring clothing donation drive was a success

Residents of the Westerly and Westwinds independent living communities delivered bags of clothing donations to Dress for Success. Some of the participants are pictured with Amber Beck, the organization’s executive director.

For independent living residents, a donation drive made for an excellent reason for an outing this past April.

“A lot of residents have been excited to go out again,” said Ashley Goedeken, a life enrichment assistant at Wichita Presbyterian Manor. “They said, ‘You know, it would be good to spring clean our closets a bit, then drop off the clothes somewhere.’”

Life Enrichment Director Amy Watson suggested Dress for Success, an organization that empowers women to achieve economic independence, in part by providing them with professional attire. On average, the nonprofit serves 425 women per year.

Ashley created a flyer to get the word out about the donation drive and spent the next couple of weeks collecting clothing in her office. Ultimately, 16 residents participated.

“It was a lot of fun watching them come together as a community to donate to a great cause,” Ashley said.

For resident Sue Bloomer, the donation drive couldn’t have come at a better time.

“We have lived here at the Westerly for five years, and in that length of time, my clothes just kept stacking up,” Sue said. “I kept saying to my girls, ‘I can’t wait until you can come and go through my closets.’”

Sue’s daughters obliged. On separate visits from their homes in Kansas City and Dallas, they helped Sue stuff two large trash bags full of donations. Ashley was more than happy to add them to the pile of donations for Dress for Success.

Clinton Hinman donated a suit that belonged to his late wife, Nancy, along with some warm-weather clothes.

He and his daughter had already donated many of Nancy’s clothes. Clinton was happy to have a few more things to contribute because the mission of Dress for Success aligns with Nancy’s interests. For 10 years, she served as the director of the culinary program at Wichita Area Technical College. There, she worked with students — mostly women — who were working towards a better life for themselves.  

About a dozen residents participated in the donation drop-off, then they all enjoyed lunch at Bite Me BBQ.

“I was happy I could participate in it, and happy to help someone else in the process,” Sue said. “Ashley is great to work with and is doing all sorts of nice projects. She does a good job.”

« Back to Blog