Take Action
Story

Meet Christa


“Senator Gillibrand’s e-mail got me off the sidelines and on a path to my own self-fulfillment.”

- Christa

christa

In 2011, Christa Vidaver received an e-mail from Senator Gillibrand’s Off The Sidelines campaign that changed her life.

During Thanksgiving that year, Off The Sidelines was raising money via e-mail for Dress For Success, a non-profit with over 120 affiliates worldwide, whose mission is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

When Christa read the e-mail, as she says, it “brought my entire life into focus and changed it.”

Inspired by Dress For Success’s mission, Christa got in touch with them in the hopes of helping out at their Buffalo affiliate. DFS didn’t have a Buffalo affiliate at the time, so they asked if she wanted to start one. So for the next year and a half, that’s precisely what she did, ultimately opening the affiliate in March 2013, becoming its Executive Director.

Just days later, DFS Buffalo dressed their first client, a young woman named Adriana, who was on welfare and didn’t even have a winter coat. They dressed her on Tuesday for a job interview with Home Depot on Wednesday and Adriana called Christa shortly thereafter to let her know she got the job.

As Christa says, “I can’t tell you how gratifying it was to watch her gain confidence and see the potential within herself right before my eyes.”

“My story has strengthened in me the belief that we all have our own paths to follow, we all grow and learn at our own pace and in our own way. And the belief that we all must strive for something better for ourselves, that we can, and that we owe it to ourselves, our communities and our children, to make our life and the lives of our communities, better.”

Get the action toolkit!