The Local Briefs column in the Saturday, August 31 News-Herald included a notice that Suit Yourself is collecting gently worn professional clothing, shoes, and accessories to be furnished to women in transition who are seeking employment.
Those donations will go to clients of Suit Yourself’s social service agency partners: women who are entering or returning to the workforce — women who need appropriate clothing for interviews and to wear on the job but, right now, can’t afford to buy it.
Here’s what happens to your donations (I volunteer with Suit Yourself, so I speak from experience):
- When you bring donations to the Suit Yourself store, volunteers accept your items and sign your donation form.
- Afterwards, the volunteers examine and inventory the items and place them on hangers or otherwise add them to the store’s displays. If an item isn’t considered suitable for client needs (too dressy, like evening wear, or too casual, like T-shirts or jeans), we attempt to sell it through a consignment shop, or we donate it to Goodwill, Salvation Army, or a similar nonprofit.
- When a social service agency refers a client to Suit Yourself, the client comes to the store, by appointment, and meets with two Suit Yourself volunteers.
- The store, which is open only to clients referred to Suit Yourself by its social service agency partners, is set up like a consignment shop/boutique, with merchandise on display and on racks for easy selection.
- With the volunteers’ help and advice, the client selects two or three outfits suitable for job interviews or as workplace attire. The outfits may include suits, slacks, skirts, blouses, dresses, coats, shoes, jewelry, purses, scarves, hosiery, etc. — whatever the client needs to look and feel appropriately dressed.
- The volunteers record the items chosen by the client, wrap them up, have the client sign off on her selections, and help the client load her new wardrobe into her car.
Once you donate an item to Suit Yourself, it will be used to help suit a client, or, if it’s not suitable for that use, it will be sold through a consignment shop (proceeds of consignment shop sales are used to purchase non-donated items such as hosiery). If it can’t be sold, Suit Yourself donates it to a non-profit like Salvation Army or Goodwill.
Suit Yourself accepts donations from 10 a.m. until noon on the first Saturday of each month at 47 West Walnut Avenue in Painesville (map). The next scheduled donation day is September 7. For future donation days, please check the Suit Yourself calendar.
Donate clothing to Suit Yourself: help someone find a job, and keep usable clothing out of the landfill.