For the fourth year in a row, Men’s Wearhouse® in the DC Metro area has partnered with Offender Aid and Restoration of Arlington, Inc. (OAR) to collect slightly used men’s suits for clients coming out of incarceration. Anyone donating a suit during the suit drive received a tax deduction for making a contribution to the work of OAR. And, contributors received 50% off on their next purchase at Men’s Wearhouse®.
Once again, the response has been incredible. Over 1,400 suit items were donated to OAR, which included suits, slacks, shoes, dress shirts, belts and ties. Men’s Wearhouse® will also provide a new tie for every suit donation.
“Our clients need to be able to present themselves well at interviews and on the job,” says Katy Steinbruck, Director of Reentry Services for OAR. “How you dress usually affects how you feel about yourself. We want our clients to go back into the world confident that they have a contribution to make,” she said.
Gail Arnall, OAR’s Executive Director, tells the story of meeting a client in the waiting room one morning. He was wearing a brown shirt and brown pants – a telltale sign he had just been released from prison. About 45 minutes later, a staff member brought the man into Gail’s office. She stood to greet him, thinking he might be a banker or a businessman, given the way he looked. “You just met me,” the man said. “I was the man in the waiting room; now I am a different person.”
OAR has shared the suits with a host of non-profits in Northern Virginia and DC who are serving men that need to dress well in order to go to job interviews and begin their employment.
“We are so grateful to the men and women who work at Men’s Wearhouse® stores across the Washington, D.C. area for their extra work to take in these donations,” said Arnall. “And a special thanks to those in the warehouse staff who collected the clothing for pick up. This truly was a community effort.”