Home > Uncategorized > Take President Bush’s advice – Donate your used suit to a soldier

Take President Bush’s advice – Donate your used suit to a soldier

For years, I’ve stared at that navy pinstripe suit in my closet waiting for it to come back into style. Until President H. W. Bush gave me an idea.

Houston Business Journal Managing Editor Greg Barr with his used suit at the Norton Ditto store on West Alabama. The store is collecting used suits to donate to returning military veterans re-entering the job market.Houston Business Journal Managing Editor Greg Barr with his used suit at the Norton Ditto store on West Alabama. The store is collecting used suits to donate to returning military veterans re-entering the job market.

President Bush donated one of his used suits to draw attention to a program that’s under way this month in Houston known as Operation Suits for Soldiers, in which folks can donate gently used suits or sport coats to veterans who have recently come home from serving in Iraq or Afghanistan and need to look good for job interviews.

The suits are being collected through April 7 at the two Norton Ditto stores in Houston, at 2425 West Alabama at Kirby next to Fleming’s or in The Woodlands at 9595 Six Pines Drive. In return for dropping off a suit or sport coat, you receive a coupon worth $150 in purchases at the store. You can also donate dress shoes in good condition to the program — or just make a financial contribution to Operation Suits for Soldiers in the store and get a gift certificate toward another purchase.

And Dress for Success Houston is also involved, donating used business suits for returning female soldiers.

When I walked into the hustle and bustle of the Norton Ditto West Alabama store last weekend to part with my old suit, store employees told me that they have been overwhelmed by the generosity of Houstonians, with more than 300 pieces of clothing dropped off at that location alone. Any used suits not selected by veterans through the program (I’m sure they will like pinstripes) will be resold at other used clothing stores to raise money for job or educational training for the soldiers.

But the program is about more than providing some natty attire to veterans. The program also handles job-search training and placement assistance for transitioning veterans in the Houston area through Burnett Staffing Specialists.

Other partners are sport shirt designer Scott Barber, men’s apparel maker Robert Talbott and suit maker H. Freeman & Son Inc., all of which are donating clothing to the cause.

So take a tour through the recesses of your closet this week. That old suit you wore once to a nephew’s wedding and forgot about may just help a veteran make a fresh start.

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