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.

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Anonymous Donor’s Pocket Change Really Added Up

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Salvation Army in Cincinnati announced it received a contribution of almost $1100 – all in coins! The donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, had been collecting his ‘pocket change’ in an over-sized, plastic Coca-Cola bottle. It took a few days to process all the coins, which included everything from pennies to Susan B. Anthony dollar coins. The final tally came to $1092.06 and will be used for social services programs in the local community.

“Over the years, I would always just throw my pocket change and miscellaneous coins in this big old Coke bottle, and it eventually filled up,” stated the donor. “I found out that there wasn’t any easy way to count all those coins, or run it through a machine, so I had the idea to donate it to The Salvation Army, anticipating they have coin counters for the donations they receive in the kettles every Christmas.”

“The Salvation Army is delighted with every contribution that helps us fulfill our mission,” stated Matt Pearce, Divisional Development Director for The Salvation Army. “This certainly is a unique contribution, but it added up to be very substantial, and we’re very grateful that the donor thought of The Salvation Army.”

Information provided by Bill Schinkal of The Salvation Army’s Southwest Ohio and Northeast Kentucky Division.

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Anonymous Donation Gives Homeless Children a Special Summer Break

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Teonnia, Shon, Gladys, Annette, Andrew, Diamond, Jynxy and about a dozen other children traveled from Charlotte, NC to our nation’s capitol this July for a summer vacation. Amid the crowds of Washington, DC tourists the group of 18 kids blended in among the masses of other visitors, probably looking like the many school groups that make annual summer treks to the city. However, the story behind the young travelers’ trips was certainly unique.

The kids are residents of The Salvation Army Center of Hope in Charlotte, NC, a homeless shelter for women and children that currently houses more than 300 people. Normally these kids would not have the opportunity to take a vacation as their parents strive just to find housing and provide food for their families, but the generosity of an anonymous donor made it possible for the children to escape from life’s challenges for a short while and just have fun being kids.

The children enjoyed simple pleasures, like staying in a hotel and eating out at restaurants, as well as experienced the unique history and character of Washington, DC. They toured the national monuments, viewed exhibits at some of DC’s most popular museums and even took a boat ride (a first for at least one child) down the Potomac.

To top off their adventure, the group even met with their U.S. Representatives for a personal and candid discussion!

The Charlotte Observer ran an interesting story about the trip with several quotes from the kids in an article called, “Away from the shelter to a Washington vacation,” which you can read by clicking here.

The contributions of the kind anonymous donor made it possible for The Salvation Army to provide these kids not only with shelter and food they receive at home in Charlotte, but also encouragement, inspiration, and a unique educational opportunity through this invaluable experience. In fact, all donations, regardless of size or amount, from generous Salvation Army supporters across the country help us serve those in need every day, and this story is just one of countless others in which lives have been affected for the better. For more information about contributing monetary support or gifts-in-kind to The Salvation Army, visit our website at www.salvationarmyusa.org and www.satruck.org.

You can also learn about the many services offered by The Salvation Army of Charlotte at their website www.salvationarmycharlotte.org/.

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High Fashion Meets The Salvation Army

Friday, June 25, 2010

The styles below look like they were ripped from the pages of a high-end fashion magazine…

But would you believe the models featured are all wearing clothes that were donated to The Salvation Army?

In Argentina, the local Salvation Army teamed up with ad agency JWT Argentina and five of the country’s top fashion designers to put together these stunning outfits, blowing away conventional ideas of thrift store style!

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The goal of The Salvation Army Argentina’s “Sr. Amor” campaign is to raise awareness of the importance of recycling clothes through donation and resale, which benefits both people in need and the environment.

The pieces pictured above were auctioned off earlier this month with the funds raised going to support The Salvation Army.

Now don’t let Argentina have all the fun. Visit our site www.satruck.org to learn more about donating clothes and other items to The Salvation Army. Your generous gifts donated to our Family Thrift Stores willsupport the work of our Adult Rehabilitation Centers. You could look around stores to see if you find some new inspiring treasures for yourself!

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Students’ Discards Becomes Charities’ Treasures

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

It’s about that time of year when college students move out of their dorm rooms and head back home for the summer, but sometimes, all the “stuff” they’ve accumulated over the past year doesn’t take the road trip with them, whether it be for lack of want, space, or another reason.

Instead of ditching or throwing away perfectly good items, from clothes to books to appliances, students have an opportunity to give them new second-hand life with the help of The Salvation Army.

At Skidmore College in New York, the school has partnered with The Salvation Army for their annual “Give and Go” event. Student volunteers collect the usable items left behind in the dorms and donate them to the Army, where they will be sold in our Family Thrift Stores or given to other local charities who can put them to good use. Read the full story about this conservation effort at Skidmore College’s website by clicking here.

According to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, several other colleges in New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Massachusetts are participating in similar efforts, with Salvation Army trucks swinging by the campuses following the student exodus. Between 1,000 and 2,000 pounds of goods and food are salvaged at each location, diverting the items from the landfill and into the hands of people in need. Find the full article here.

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