Making Dreams a Reality

1 decade 7 months 4 weeks ago Monday, September 24 2007 Sep 24, 2007 Monday, September 24, 2007 5:52:54 PM CDT September 24, 2007 in News

Della Rush is a Project Specialist for Missouri's Womens, Infants and Children's program. She's one of hundreds of employees who enter the Department of Health and Senior Services. On the outside, Della looks like every other successful woman. But on the inside, it took a lot more than a good suit to get to where she is.

"I quit school in the eighth grade and went to work in factories," Della said.

At the age of 12, Della started working factory jobs to help support her mom and five other siblings. Then in the months after 9/11 when the bottom fell out of the travel industry, her luggage factory closed.

With only an eighth grade education, Della went back to school and got her GED and then a college degree. But even that wasn't enough to get a job.

"I had nothing to wear but factory stuff which you can't be wearing when you deal with the public," Della explained.

Della called Dreams to Reality, a Jefferson City charity that provides low income women with interview clothing. The charity began after someone spotted two people changing clothes in a state office building restroom. The women were sharing a business suit.

"A lot of these women don't have people to champion for them at home and we want them to look as qualified as they really are," said Jennifer Bondurant of Dreams to Reality.

It's not just clothing, but also purses, jewelry, shoes, hosiery and makeup. Dreams to Reality provided Della with a suit, and outfitted her with something she can't find on a clothes rack.

"When they say dress for success unless you do it, you don't know what they're talking about. But once you get into the clothes, it's a total different feeling. You can feel that you're being successful," Della said.

Dreams to Reality recently moved to 512 Jefferson Street across from the Motor Bank in Jefferson City. It takes donations on the first Saturday of every month from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

And on Nov. 10 at the Truman Hotel in Jefferson City, Dreams to Reality is holding a fundraiser called, "Dream Night in the Tropics." It's a girl's night out event that runs from 7-11 p.m.

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