Clean those clos­ets

Do­nat­ing clothes will help oth­ers dress for suc­cess

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - - Business -

There’s an adage, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” That can be a dif­fi­cult hur­dle to clear for some­one who has no job or is stuck in one that doesn’t pay enough to buy an ap­pro­pri­ate wardrobe.

Those at the other end of the spec­trum, who have a full-to-burst­ing closet of nice clothes, can help.

Sev­eral or­ga­ni­za­tions are in place to con­nect those who have more than they need with those who don’t have enough.

Ca­reer Closet at the Univer­sity of Pitts­burgh lends clothes and ac­ces­sories to stu­dents. Dress for Suc­cess Pitts­burgh helps women with pro­fes­sional at­tire as well as per­sonal and pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment. The non­profit Ca­reer Wardrobe of­fers 70 per­cent off the re­tail price of lux­ury and de­signer clothes for men and women.

One lo­cal shop, Com­mon­wealth Proper Pitts­burgh (la­bel CMMP), is mak­ing it par­tic­u­larly ap­peal­ing right now to join the band­wagon of help­ing oth­ers. Through De­cem­ber, the high-end cloth­ing stu­dio is ask­ing for do­na­tions of slightly worn men’s or women’s suits. In re­turn, donors will re­ceive a $250 credit for each suit given to the cause. Also, those who give will re­ceive a 501(c)(3) char­i­ta­ble do­na­tion form for tax pur­poses.

CMMP CEO Craig Arthur von Schroeder, a for­mer soc­cer player and lawyer, founded his com­pany 10 years ago in Philadel­phia and opened a stu­dio in East Lib­erty in 2017. (There is an­other lo­ca­tion in At­lanta.) Mr. Schroeder said his de­ci­sion to spear­head a suit drive was sparked by one of the ser­vices his firm pro­vides: A con­sul­tant will visit a client’s house with an eye to­ward de­cid­ing what part of the client’s wardrobe should be kept and what should be re­lin­quished. The “tossed” suits now can help with some­one else’s en­try into the job mar­ket or a new job.

This kind of mind­set can be ap­plied not only to clos­ets but to cup­boards and shelves, draw­ers and chests. What do we have that we do not need or want? What do we own that we can pass on to some­one with less?

It’s the time of year to be­gin think­ing of New Year res­o­lu­tions. Some good prep work would be an in­ven­tory of our pos­ses­sions and our char­i­ta­ble giv­ing. Be­gin 2019 with some cleaned clos­ets and some con­tri­bu­tions to some­one else’s suc­cess.

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