“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

This quote by Margaret Mead was one of the late Jennifer Weaver’s favorites. It was prominently displayed in her office throughout her career at HACC’s Gettysburg Campus and the YWCA of Gettysburg and Adams County.

Six years ago, a small group of thoughtful, committed women brought this quote to life with the Day of Transformation. The event was created to honor Jennifer’s memory and make a difference in the lives of women in Adams County. As a result, hundreds of local women seeking employment or taking a step forward in their careers have benefited from having access to professional clothing and coaching on résumé writing and interviewing skills.

The Day of Transformation committee, led by Brooke Barrett, includes women from HACC’s Gettysburg Campus; Margaret Trew Cline Foundation; South Central Community Action Programs; Survivors Inc.; United Way of Adams County; WellSpan Gettysburg Hospital; and YWCA Gettysburg and Adams County.

Recently, the committee decided the one-day-only event should be expanded to an everyday opportunity. This realization happened after Jane Jones, another amazing female educator, died much too young. A beloved music teacher in the Gettysburg Area School District and co-founder of the Gettysburg Children’s Choir, Jane died on April 15, 2018.

Last summer, a few of Jane’s friends contacted me to donate her professional wardrobe for the Day of Transformation. The event had already occurred, so I offered to store the clothing until the next collection period.

Early in fall 2018, a HACC student had the opportunity to participate in a professional leadership event. Unfortunately, she did not have appropriate professional clothing nor the financial resources to purchase an outfit. I immediately thought of Jane’s beautiful clothing. I offered a few outfits to the student, who said, “I’ve never felt so good or so confident.”

The Gettysburg Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Shop, 10 Lincoln Square, Gettysburg, now accepts professional clothing donations for women Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. year round. Donations should be seasonal, unstained, odor free and neatly folded or on hangers, which are available at the thrift shop. Size and care tags should be intact. Shoes and purses should be unscuffed. Also, please indicate donations are for Day of Transformation recipients.

Partnering organizations may provide vouchers to clients who are in need of professional clothing. The voucher allows an individual to select up to three free outfits with accessories. It also includes how to schedule an appointment at HACC’s Gettysburg Campus for career counseling, résumé writing and interview preparation.

Agencies seeking vouchers may contact Chucki Strevig at the thrift shop at 717-334-5264.

Jennifer Weaver dedicated the majority of her life to improving lives. Nothing would make her prouder than to know that this one-day-only event has expanded to an everyday opportunity for women in our community.

Shannon Harvey is the vice president at the Gettysburg Campus of HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College.

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