Suiting Up for the Hunt

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Searching for a new job is stressful and difficult, to say the least.

Measuring yourself against a daunting list of job qualifications seems to always leave you feeling a little short. Then there’s a scramble to get your references in order, and do you even dare think about all the other applicants who are competing for your same position?

And if you’ve been out of a job for an extended period of time, the whole process is even more discouraging. Unfortunately, there are many people who are all too familiar with this – just look at the country’s consistently high unemployment rate.

But on top of all of these factors, there’s another surprisingly simple element of the job hunt that most people don’t realize can play a significant role in their pursuit. What is it?

Clothes.

It’s true. Arriving at a job in professional attire can seal the deal on your self-confidence, or being dressed inappropriately can completely undermine it. Dressing the part can also give prospective employers a positive first impression of you even before one word is exchanged.

For many people, choosing something to wear is the least of their worries, but for others who don’t own a suit or nice shirt, it can be one of the biggest hurdles standing in between them and employment. Financial constraints could mean that buying new clothes is just not an option.

In response to this need, The Men’s Wearhouse is teaming up with 200 charities and non-profits (including some local Salvation Army’s) across the country to host the third annual National Suit Drive. Donors who drop off gently used business attire to Men’s Wearhouse stores during the month of September will receive 25% off their next purchase and the clothes will be donated to the local partnering charities.

To learn more about The National Suit Drive, visit www.nationalsuitdrive.com.

Salvation Army units in Florida and Virginia are participating in this event. If you don’t live in these areas or there’s not a Men’s Wearhouse store near you, don’t worry. You can donate your business attire directly to our Salvation Army Family Thrift Stores located around the country! Visit www.satruck.org for more information.

Salvation Army on Stand By as Tropical Storm Hermine Makes Landfall

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tropical storm Hermine blew through south and central Texas yesterday leaving thousands of homes without power and dropping record rainfall on several cities. Hermine was downgraded to a tropical depression Tuesday night and continues to move north.

Five Salvation Army mobile feeding units (canteens) across Texas were placed on standby in San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Harlingen, McAllen, and Kerrville and are prepped to provide emergency assistance.

The Salvation Army of Texas reports their canteen in Corpus Christi has been called in to action to provide clean up kits for areas affected by excessive flooding and food for first responders and storm victims.

The Salvation Army’s canteens can be deployed within minutes and can usually serve first responders and storm victims steadily for a 24-hour period before restocking.

The mobile feeding units, staff, and volunteers will remain on call for at least three days, as Salvation Army disaster response personnel monitor Hermine’s path and the effects on each community it moves through. A satellite communications van and other emergency disaster response staff and volunteers are also on call.

To stay updated on The Salvation Army’s Hermine response, follow our Emergency Disaster Services team on Twitter @SalArmyEDS.

The Fruits of Their Labor

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What did you do on Labor Day?

Maybe you spent the waning days of summer by the pool or over a sizzling grill. Or maybe you skipped town for a brief getaway. Or maybe you had a lot of big ideas but never seemed to get beyond changing out of your pajamas.

If you’re like me, your aspirations for the Labor Day holiday probably didn’t include much laboring.

But 60 volunteers in Charlotte, North Carolina had a different idea. They spent their day off cleaning, painting, and transforming a Sunday school building into an emergency overflow shelter for homeless women. The site is being opened by The Salvation Army’s Center of Hope, whose main facility is experiencing overcrowding and must sometimes turn women away.

The Salvation Army expects the overflow shelter will be ready to open next week after one more volunteer-work day.

We appreciate these volunteers and the Caldwell Memorial Presbyterian Church (who donated use of the facility) for making it possible for The Salvation Army to better to serve the city’s homeless. Thanks to their efforts, at least 50 more women will have a safe place to rest their heads at night.

You can check out a video news story on these Labor Day laborers HERE.

To learn more about The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte, visit their website HERE

Wildfires Blazing Across Boulder, Colorado

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Video courtesy of Fox News

Wildfires that broke out Monday in Boulder, Colorado’s Fourmile Canyon continue to blaze, forcing thousands of residents to flee their homes and leaving 3,500 acres of land charred. About 100 fire fighters were on the scene yesterday battling the flames. The cause of the fire is unknown, and high winds have made it difficult to tame.

The Salvation Army has been called on to help serve first responders who are working to contain the disaster. Those first responders include fire fighters, law enforcement, Emergency Medical Technicians and the command and control staff that is coordinating the fire efforts at the command center. By providing food, drinks and emotional support, The Salvation Army provides much needed nourishment as these crews work around the clock.

The Salvation Army served more than 450 dinners last night to emergency personnel and 300 hearty breakfasts including omelets, hash browns, sausage patty, coffee, juice and fruit were served early this morning.

First responders will also be provided lunch and dinner today by The Salvation Army. The mobile kitchen and cold truck will remain on site as long as necessary to support this effort.

We certainly hope that the fires will be contained quickly so that more homes and buildings are not claimed by the blaze. Thankfully, there have been no reported fatalities as a result of the fire.

If you’d like to support The Salvation Army’s fire relief efforts, visit imsalvationarmy.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY and earmark the donation for Emergency Disaster Services.