National retailer Moore’s Clothing for Men is calling on Canadians to clean out their closets in a bid to help men and women in need who are trying to get back to work.
The 10th annual Suit Drive collects gently used professional attire such as suits, shirts, dresses and shoes. The donated clothing then gets distributed to over 60 organizations that provide skills and training to the unemployed to help them build self-esteem and confidence for job interviews.
The Calgary Dream Centre, an addiction recovery facility, has been a recipient organization since the program’s inception. Jim Moore, the centre’s executive director, said having a “new” suit can help change how a client views himself.
“They come down and they pick up their Moore’s shirts, suits and ties and then they graduate,” said Moore. “They stand before us and their shoulders go back — there’s something about them.
“It’s a change of life.”
Former Dream Centre client Jonathon Duke agrees.
A recovering alcoholic, Duke said he entered the program after losing his job and coming close to losing those who were most important in his life.
“I was somebody who wore a shirt and tie and my addiction had taken that away from me,” Duke said. “I never thought I’d… have it back.”
The 33-year-old recently graduated from the program wearing a donated suit.
“Seeing my parents smiling, everyone congratulating me and looking pretty good, you know, I felt like I was going somewhere again,” he said.
Duke has since landed a new job and for this interview was again wearing donated attire.
“I feel good and you know it’s because I’m dressed up,” he said. “I feel important and it changes the way you think and all of a sudden I have a little more confidence.”
Since it started, the national cause has collected nearly 500,000 clothing items.
Donations are being accepted at 126 Moore’s locations across the country until July 31.