Career Wardrobe Selected as Finalist in National Job Raising Challenge

When it comes to previously-owned clothing, our first thought is usually thrift stores and hand-me-downs, not professional attire. But for the past 17 years Philadelphia-based Career Wardrobe has been providing women transitioning into the workforce with the confidence—and clothing—they need to gain employment. In addition to offering internships, job-counseling, and resume writing workshops, Career Wardrobe operates the Wardrobe Boutique, a women’s clothing resale store benefiting the organization and its participants.

In recognition of their efforts, Career Wardrobe has been selected as one of 74 national finalists in the Job Raising Challenge, a crowd-funded competition for innovative job-producing nonprofits to raise money and awareness for their causes. The three groups who raise the most money will be selected as winners and awarded an additional $250,000 by the Skoll Foundation. If selected as a winner, Career Wardrobe has plans to expand its Wardrobe Boutique, reaching new communities and empowering more women—who are disproportionately impacted by unemployment—to find jobs.

Anyone can donate to Career Wardrobe in the Job Raising Challenge, either at their website or on their dedicated Crowdrise page. The contest and donations are open through March 1.

ALEX JACOBS is the Grid intern for spring 2013. He is a junior history major at Haverford College.

DesignPhiladelphia takes over the city this weekend

This weekend, the 2011 Community Arts Festival (CAFe) comes together to promote local artists and the importance of environmental sustainability. Featuring organizations from all over the city, there are plenty of diverse passions to discover: ceramics with Old City’s Clay Studios; Arabic calligraphy with Albustan Seeds of Culture, a local nonprofit that teaches Arabic language, arts and culture; or sustainable art with Recycled Artist-In-Residency, Philadelphia-based artists that use salvaged materials to create art pieces (and featured in GRID’s October 2011 issue, p. 26).

While part of the larger DesignPhiladelphia, a festival program featuring design innovations, CAFe is unique. The event will showcase Philly’s cultural diversity, bringing together artists and local businesses to share their unique ethnic programs as well as their commitment to environmental education.

Another DesignPhiladelphia happening this weekend is the kickoff to Better Blocks Philly. Inspired by a similar movement in Dallas, Better Blocks Philly is working to make streets and neighborhoods safer for pedestrians and bikers through creative community design. The opening celebration is this Friday, but runs from October 13-23 and features events like a movie night, punk yoga and mural painting.

To join this weekend’s fun and learn more about DesignPhiladelphia and its almost 150 events, visit their website.

CAFe, Oct. 16, 12-4 p.m., Crane Arts Building, 14 N. American St.

Better Blocks Philly Opening Celebration, Oct. 14, 6-9 p.m., 1702 Christian St.

Sustainable Communities in Action: Sustainable 19125

Philadelphia, as the old trope goes, is a city of neighborhoods. While each has its own concerns and culture, sustainability is a key for all in establishing and maintaining a neighborhood that nurtures and uplifts those who live there. In our Sustainable Communities in Action series, GRID will highlight organizations that are working to make their neighborhoods greener, safer places that residents can feel proud of.

Residents of the east kensington, Fishtown and Port Richmond areas of the city are served by Sustainable 19125, an innovative community partnership created by the New Kensington Community Development Corp. (NKCDC) to address sustainability issues and quality-of-life concerns. The initiative’s goal is equal parts community revitalization, greening and neighbor-to-neighbor camaraderie.

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