Speaking at a recent event in Auckland The Salvation Army’s Territorial Commander for NZ, Fiji and Tonga Robert Donaldson shared moving stories explaining the positive impact that the gift of quality clothing has had on individuals of all ages right around the country.
'For some of our clients, receiving new, fashionable and special clothes, alongside the wider support we provide, has a profound impact on their self-esteem, confidence and lives. Sometimes these gifts represent the smartest clothes they have, and for others, they might be the first new clothes they have ever received. We are so grateful to the many individuals and businesses who support us with these donations – in particular, Farmers Trading Company who have generously supported us over the past five years.'
For the students of The Salvation Army’s Education and Employment programme, the clothing donations have been especially well-received.
On the Youth Guarantee programme young people who have fallen out of traditional education pathways, return to study in a more supportive environment with smaller classes and more personalised teaching blended with life skills training and support.
For these students the donation of smart black work dresses and jackets by Farmers provided the young women on these programmes with much needed special occasion outfits and boosted their confidence and motivation as they role played for interviews and work.
For Auckland students Antonia and Briana (pictured), the garments were worn at significant public speaking events with hundreds of attendees where they were centre stage. Their smart presentation helped their confidence, performance and success at these events.
Similar results have been attributed to the students on Education and Employment’s Training for Work programmes, particular in relation to job interiews, where smart clothing has reduced anxiety and helped secure jobs.
For Amy, a trainee truck driver in Tauranga, a smart black and white blouse donated by Farmers proved just what was needed for a job interview. After facing many 'dress fears' Amy tried the blouse, liked it and went on to wear it at her interview, with a noticeable confidence, that afternoon.
Amy secured the part time call centre job which she held for a few months until she got a full-time truck driving job.