OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As protests against racial injustice continued in downtown Oklahoma City, a non-profit organization several blocks away was targeted by an arsonist.
Five years of hard work went up in flames over the weekend for ‘Dress For Success,’ a nonprofit organization located along N. Western Ave.
“Smoke damage in all of our clothes. Our computers were melted so we weren’t able to salvage our client files,” Necie Black, Dress For Success Vice Chairwoman, told KFOR on Monday.
Now, organizers say they are looking for a new space.
In the meantime, they say they won’t stop helping women in need who want to get back into the workforce.
“Don’t judge you for where you’ve been, and that’s such a valuable thing in today’s world, and they call you and check on you,” said Dusty Summers, a former client and current board member.
When members of the community heard about the fire, they reached out in a big way and sent messages of support.
Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt even showed his support by tweeting out the organization’s GoFundMe page.
Homes by Taber had previously donated to Dress For Success through the Taber Cares program and knew they needed to act again.
“Coming home from the lake and saw it on the news that this had happened, and just wanted to do what we can to help them get back on their feet as soon as possible,” Julie LeBlanc, Homes By Taber co-owner, said.
The organization asked the leaders of the nonprofit to meet with them on Wednesday morning.
“We have model homes throughout Oklahoma and the general area and we are using 16 of our models homes and our home office to start collecting donations for you guys to open back up. And on top of that, we have a check for $21,000 for you guys to use to try to get it going as soon as possible,” LeBlanc said.
“This is going to go so, so far in getting the clothing racks, all the mannequins, all of the under garments that we have to buy brand new when we give clients clothing. This is going to go toward all that,” said Alisa Green, founder and chairwoman of Dress For Success in Oklahoma City.
A group dedicated to helping others get back on their feet is now getting help during their time of need.
“The past two or three days have been so tough for us because we are grieving the loss of everything we put in, and it’s just a building. And people like you and the community have really rallied behind us and we’re so grateful you guys are still thinking of us and our needs right now,” Green said.
“She said it’s just like church. It’s not the building. It’s the people. And that’s what it is. Dress for Success is the people of Oklahoma City,” Summers said.
If you would like to drop off a donation at one of the model homes, the hours are below:
Monday & Tuesday – 11 a.m. -6 p.m.
Wednesday & Thursday is closed
Friday – 11 a.m. -6 p.m.
Saturday -10 a.m. -6 p.m.
Sunday – 1 p.m. -6 p.m.
For more information on locations near you, visit the Taber Cares website.