Working Wardrobes rebuilding process underway after fire

Deeply-rooted non-profit Working Wardrobes has launched the rebuilding process, just one week after a fire destroyed their leased Orange County headquarters, causing an estimated $15 million loss for the organization and their landlord.

In the days since the fire, Working Wardrobes has moved into a temporary space donated by Goodwill of Orange County and has resumed accepting clothing donations, which will be distributed to those who need help re-entering the workforce after a setback. Community and corporate partners have embraced the beloved organization – stepping up to help them rebuild after 30 years of service to the community.

“For three decades, we have been helping those in need rebuild their lives,” says Working Wardrobes Founder and CEO Jerri Rosen. “Now, our friends and supporters have stepped up to help us rebuild. There is a long journey ahead of us, but we have taken the first steps, and we are doing it hand-in-hand with our community.”

Since the fire, Working Wardrobes has fielded calls from more than 400 residents who would like to volunteer. They will be scheduled from now through March to help go through donated clothing and set up the wardrobing area, providing hands-on assistance that the organization needs.

A team from Habitat for Humanity is on-site at the temporary Goodwill location, rebuilding dressing rooms for Working Wardrobes clients.

Retailer BB Dakota has donated 1000 pieces of brand new women’s clothing to the organization.

Men’s Wearhouse has donated a truckload of new men’s clothing and rolling racks.

Jewelry designer Gorjana has committed to hosting 4 jewelry parties to benefit Working Wardrobes in their stores. The events will be held at the Laguna Beach, Fashion Island, Irvine Spectrum, and Long Beach stores. The company is also donating a massive collection of unsold merchandise.

The greatest need for the organization continues to be tax-deductible financial donations. The money will be used to replace lost office equipment and to continue day-to-day operations so that the mission of serving those in need continues uninterrupted. Another need is gas and food cards, and bus passes to be given to the organization’s clients. Over the years, Working Wardrobes has served 105,000 veterans and community members who needed assistance re-entering the workforce, and they plan to help more than 5,000 this year, despite the setbacks.

“Our work is too important to be put on pause,” says Rosen. “We must move forward, and we will – with the help of the heroes who have already stepped up and those who will learn our story in the coming weeks and come to our aid.”

This article was released by Working Wardrobes.