Have you ever hit hard times and needed help? I have- I’ve always believed that when you are blessed, you should be a blessing to others. Over a decade ago, I struggled to find my niche-even after getting my Broadcast Journalism degree, I felt the News wasn’t for me—I would want to give the woman who lost her son at the murder scene a hug, not just report the news! I needed some direction — my life coach asked, “What is your passion?” I responded sarcastically, “I’m really good at shopping!”
Not the easiest thing in the world, to find a career that marries shopping, acting and improv background and the one that utilized the “talkative” comment most teachers would write on my report card growing up! “Have Faith, ” she said. I struggled for quite a while, trying many different sales jobs, but no real passion for any of them- I was feeling defeated.
On my wedding day 13 years ago, I walked up the stairs to Beverly Hills Town hall. My phone rang- it was my agent asking if I would like to host a Home Shopping Network (back then Shop NBC)—I said YES!
I sent in my demo reel-a prototype of me hosting a show I created “Inside LA”, showcasing the best places to dine, club and shop in Los Angeles. Soon after, I booked the job! My new husband and I moved to Eden Prairie, MN where Evine is broadcast and I’ve been a part of the Evine family for the past 12 years.
Remembering how lost I felt and fearful, I now help women identify their skills, to believe in themselves to find a job and a better future for their family with Dress for Success. As a Career Advocate I speak to the women engaged in the 8- week program about what it takes to “sell” themselves to an employer through their words and body language/energy to get the job. As a One-on-One Mentor, I’ve been able to impact many women’s lives by giving advice and encouraging them to reach their dreams through daily action.
I was so proud of our Evine hosts for agreeing to be a part of the Dress for Success annual 5k fundraising walk to support this job program! I was even prouder that our President, Bob Rosenblatt, was kind enough to donate $1500 on behalf of Evine for our Dress for Success team! Hosts Kendy Kloepfer, Heather Hall, Kimberly Wells, Allison Waggoner and Melissa Miner all donated to the cause, helping us to raise over $2100!
Early the morning of the race, Evine Hosts Skip Connelly, Lynne Schacher, Brian Kessler, Kristine Kvanli, Sam Simmons and Fatima Cocci and I all rallied together at 6am, walking to raise money to support the women in the “Going Places Network”.
We had a ball! Sam chose to run it with Kristine, while Skip walked alongside Fatima and I was busy Snap Chatting on the Evine account—hopping from host to host, jumping into each conversation. At the end of the walk, we ran and crossed the finish line hand-in-hand! The ladies from Dress for Success were at the finish line and cheered us on with their kids.
We all bonded in a very unique way that day, and vowed to do it again next year! I call this the Ripple Effect because if each of us helped someone and then they helped someone once they were on their feet, we would magnify the impact!
What are you doing this holiday season to give back? Leave your comments below! If you want to donate clothing for this program, find your local chapter at www.dressforsuccess.org.
“Be Good to Others” and stay tuned for my “5 Days of Kindness” Initiative December 5-9th on my Facebook Page and Evine’s social media platforms! Fine me at: Wendi Russo Evine Live.