Clothes That Work wants your gently-used clothing and accessories

Katie Kerry, Director of Education and Outreach for Clothes That Work, is shown conducting a workshop.  CONTRIBUTED

Combined ShapeCaption
Katie Kerry, Director of Education and Outreach for Clothes That Work, is shown conducting a workshop. CONTRIBUTED

For many of us the pandemic has been a golden opportunity to clean out our closets, attics and basements. Whenever I’m asked by readers to recommend organizations that will be delighted to have gently-used clothing and accessories, Clothes That Work is always one of my top suggestions.

The local non-profit was founded in 1998 by13 women in the community to provide interview and work appropriate clothing to women transitioning from public assistance to employment. Twenty-four years later the mission of CTW has expanded to include women, men and independent teens.

“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,” says executive director Cindy Garner. “It only takes seven seconds to make an impression on a potential employer.”

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.

Combined ShapeCaption
Clients are transformed at Clothes That Work. CONTRIBUTED

Clients are transformed at Clothes That Work. CONTRIBUTED

Combined ShapeCaption
Clients are transformed at Clothes That Work. CONTRIBUTED

Other services CTW provides

In addition to providing interview appropriate clothing, CTW conducts educational programs through a 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. Clients learn how to make a positive first impression, proper work attire, effective communication techniques, on-the -job conflict resolution and how to build professional relationships.

ExploreWright State alumna rockets to fame as barbecue pitmaster

The WEI has provided more than 375 classes and workshops to more than 7,000 individuals since the program launched in 2017. “Our curriculum was developed by a team of area professionals who specialize in workforce development and education,” explains Katie Kerry, director of education and outreach. “This program is interactive and engaging to all levels and ages. Whether you are entering the workforce for the very first time, or are a seasoned professional looking for a career change or advancement, our workshops are for you. We have both in-person and virtual options available.” For questions regarding the Workforce Education Initiative contact Kerry at katie.kerry@clothesthatwork.org.

Here’s what they most need:

Clothes That Work relies on the generous donations of others to provide interview and workplace appropriate attire for 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 gray 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

Clothes That Work is accepting clothing donations by appointment, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. To schedule an appointment call 937-222-3778

Shop for the cause!

Located next door to Clothes That Work is The Boutique, an upscale re-sale shop featuring clothing and accessories for women and men. Your clothing and accessories that may not be work-appropriate are often perfect for the boutique, such as dressy pieces, pretty purses, shoes, jewelry. It’s a great place to find great bargains on lovely fashions. All proceeds generated from The Boutique sales go directly to support the Clothes That Work mission.

Combined ShapeCaption
The Boutique at Clothes That Work is open to the public and features great deals. CONTRIBUTED

The Boutique at Clothes That Work is open to the public and features great deals. CONTRIBUTED

Combined ShapeCaption
The Boutique at Clothes That Work is open to the public and features great deals. CONTRIBUTED

Shopping Hours for The Boutique are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Thursday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, and 9 a.m. until noon on the Second Saturday of each month You can 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.

Volunteers needed!

Clothes That Work could not accomplish its mission without the support and dedication of volunteers. You can work as a client coach, workshop facilitator, inventory manager and in 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.

LOCATED

Clothes That Work 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.

Seven satellite locations for your donations can be found on the website at www.clothesthatwork.org.

They include:

A+ Cleaners, 8116 Springboro Pike, Miamisburg

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)

Oakwood Florist, 2313 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood

Pieces of Style, 18 W. Franklin St., #B, Centerville

Sibcy Cline, Vandalia office, 422 W. National Road, Vandalia

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: meredith.moss@coxinc.com.

Please include a daytime phone number and a photo that reflects your group’s mission.

About the Author