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Sep 13, 2010 12:17 PM

Suit Drive for Men Released from Prison

From now until September 30, the Department of Public Safety and Corrections (DPS&C) and Refined by Fire Ministries (RBF) are partnering with Men's Wearhouse to help men seeking employment get a boost of self-confidence during the third annual National Suit Drive, the country's largest collection of gently used business attire.

This is the third year that DPS&C and RBF have participated in the Suit Drive.  Items collected in previous drives include men's suits, dress shirts, jackets, ties, belts, shoes and outerwear.  The public may donate their gently used and cleaned items at any participating Men's Wearhouse location (list attached).

"We are grateful to Men's Wearhouse for continuing our partnership again this year," said DPS&C Secretary James M. Le Blanc.  "Hundreds of men releasing from Louisiana's prisons have transitioned back into their communities with professional attire donated through these drives.  Having professional clothing to wear to job interviews is a big part of the Department's Reentry efforts and those efforts are aimed at empowering these individuals and preventing their return to prison."

"As we begin our third year of partnership with Men's Wearhouse and the Louisiana Department of Corrections in this much needed program, we are grateful for all our past clothing donors," said Refined by Fire Ministries President and CEO Elain Ellerbe.  "I've personally seen soon-to-be released men trying on a suit jacket and being transformed as they stood there.  After many years of wearing only chambray suits and blue jeans or prison jumpsuits, knowing they will walk out of the front gates in their own suit brings a measure of hope to them that they can and will succeed in life.  We urge all communities to once again clean out their closets for this very worthwhile effort."

Although the current economy has affected a wide spectrum of the American workforce, 82 percent of job losses have befallen men, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  In the current environment, those individuals transitioning from prison back to their communities are competing from precious few jobs.  It's important they make a good impression.

"With nearly one out of ten working-age men unemployed in this country, the economic downturn has disproportionately hurt the male workforce," said George Zimmer, Men's Wearhouse founder and CEO.  "By collecting and donating professional clothing, Men's Wearhouse aims to help men 'suit up' for job interviews."

Clothing Requirements:
Gently used, Clean and on hangers please

Items Collected:
Suits                                Sports Coats
Slacks                                Dress Shirts
Dress Shoes                        Sportswear
Outerwear                        Ties and other accessories

Donors will receive:
        A 25% discount coupon good towards a future purchase at Men's Wearhouse
        Itemized donation log with number of items donated per category
        Tax receipt for donated items


For more information, visit www.doc.la.gov or www.nationalsuitdrive.com.

        Participating Locations:
Baton Rouge  BATON ROUGE  5915 BLUEBONNET BLVD. C-2  BATON ROUGE
   MALL AT CORTANA  9385 CORTANA PLACE  BATON ROUGE
   MALL OF LOUISIANA  6401 BLUEBONNET BLVD. #2088  BATON ROUGE
Lake Charles  LAKE CHARLES, LA  630 WEST PRIEN LAKE ROAD  LAKE CHARLES
Alexandria  ALEXANDRIA STATION  2385 S. MACARTHUR DR. #102  ALEXANDRIA
Lafayette  ACADIANA MALL  5725 JOHNSTON STREET  LAFAYETTE
   AMBASSADOR ROW SC  3521 AMBASSADOR CAFFERY #E  LAFAYETTE

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