Work clothes beyond the pinstripe suit

By Melinda Hasbrouck

My commitment, Clothing for Everyone’s Success (CES), is a clothing drive that will collect alternative work clothes. Clothing drives focused on work clothes usually have donations of clothes a person wears in an office setting. People who need donated clothing work wear are not usually hired for office clothing settings. Many individuals are obtaining employment and providing food handling, janitorial and home aide services. These jobs tend to require a uniform (e.g., chef pants, oxford shirts, khakis, scrubs). In the Washington Metropolitan area, job training programs offer clothes from their clothes closets, but do not carry the clothes needed for a person to start service jobs that require a uniform (as described above).

I was inspired by this project from my own experiences of offering new hires positions in restaurants. Some people had to turn down the work because they did not have the clothing required to start work and did not have the money to buy the required clothes. My project targets poverty alleviation. I have created a partnership with Bread for the City to accept the donated items and maintain a clothing line separate for their employment program. I am very excited by this partnership because my family, friends and I have used their services in the past. I have applied for a Public Health Services Grant to help launch the initiative. This project does not require a lot of financial investment and I look forward to motivating individuals to volunteer for this program when we go live.

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