I often get calls from readers who’d like to donate clothing to “Clothes That Work” but aren’t quite certain what kinds of clothes the organization will accept.
The local non-profit was founded in 1998 by 13 women to provide interview and work-appropriate clothing to women who were transitioning from public assistance to employment. Twenty-four years later the mission of CTW has expanded to include women, men and independent teens.
What’s also expanded over the years is the type of clothing that’s appreciated. While it’s true that work-appropriate garments and accessories are always needed, there’s now a pretty boutique that sells both upscale casual and dressy clothing to the public. It’s a great place to find treasures and the prices can’t be beat. Funds raised from boutique sales will help outfit someone heading to an interview or new job.
“Most of us don’t really think about it, but the greatest barrier to employment often can be an appropriate interview outfit and people skills. It only takes seven seconds to make an impression on a potential employer.” says executive director Cindy Garner. Job seekers come to CTW through a network of community partners and receive one-on-one appointments with a trained volunteer coach. The CTW coach helps clients select interview appropriate attire and offer guidance on how to make a positive first impression. All clothing services are at no cost to the job seeker. To date, CTW has helped over 37,000 individuals remove professional image barriers and build confidence in their job search and employment success.
In addition to providing interview appropriate clothing, CTW conducts educational programs through their Workforce Education Initiative (WEI). The educational programs include a series of classes and workshops designed to equip both job seekers and the newly employed with the knowledge and skills that lead to continued employment success. Workshop topics include making a positive first impression, proper professional attire, effective communication techniques, on the job conflict resolution and how to build professional relationships.
The WEI has provided more than 375 classes and workshops to more than 7,000 individuals since the program launched in 2017. “The success of the Workforce Education Initiative demonstrated to us the need to expand our services beyond the confines of the Montgomery County Job Center,” says Garner.” In development now is our new Mobile Outreach Program which is scheduled to launch in the First Quarter 2023 in honor of our 25th anniversary. The Mobile Outreach Program will allow us to grow the impact of our organization’s mission, improving client access to our clothing and workforce education services.”
Clothing donation needs for Clients
Clothes That Work relies on the generous donations of others to provide interview and workplace appropriate attire for their clients. They accept donations for a wide variety of sizes and industries, but request that the items: be clean, be in good to excellent condition, be appropriate for the workplace and are less than five years old.
- Women’s dress and casual shoes, especially sizes 9 to 13
- Plus-size women’s clothing, sizes 18 and up
- Men’s and women’s steel toe work boots
- Men’s suits
- Men’s dress and casual slacks, especially waist sizes 26 to 33″
- Men’s white, cream, blue and grey dress shirts, especially in sizes 18 and up
- Men’s dress shoes
- Men’s dress socks in blue, black and gray
- Men’s belts, Sizes S (36-40), M (42-46), L (48-52)
- Men’s new (packaged) undershirts, boxer shorts and briefs in Sizes S to 3X
- Personal travel-size toiletries
The Boutique can use these items:
- Men’s and women’s trending designer label clothing.
Clothes That Work is accepting clothing donations by appointment from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. The main office and The Boutique are located at 1133 So. Edwin C Moses Blvd., Suite #392, Dayton, OH 45417. Free parking is available in one of the marked parking spaces at the entrance to the Boutique.
Satellite drop-off locations include: Abbey Credit Union, 800 Falls Creek Dr., Vandalia; Abbey Credit Union, 891 W. Market St., Troy; Jewish Community Center of Greater Dayton, 525 Versailles Dr., Centerville (By appointment only); and Oakwood Florist, 2313 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood.
To schedule an appointment visit: https://www.clothesthatwork.org/appointments. Call 937-222-3778 if you have questions.
Other ways to help:
- Shop at The Boutique! Shopping hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Thursday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to noon on the Second Saturday of each month.
- Host a private Shopping Party for your friends, organization or club. For questions contact Suzy Harris, Director of Operations at 937-222-3778, ext. 170.
- Become a volunteer. The organization needs volunteers for the positions of client coaches, workshop facilitators, inventory managers and boutique sales. Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer can visit https://www.clothesthatwork.org/get-involved/ or call Suzy Harris, Director of Operations, at 937-222-3778, ext. 170.
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Meredith Moss writes about Dayton-area nonprofit organizations and their specific needs. If your group has a wish list it would like to share with our readers, contact Meredith: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please include a daytime phone number and a photo that reflects your group’s mission.
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