There are some college and high school graduates who have the education, tools and motivation to be successful and contribute their part in the community but don’t necessarily have the means to do so. The Memphis Suit Project is aiming to resolve that problem.
While organizations like Dress for Success help women with professional outfits, Justin Thomas of Thomas Family Law Firm, PLC was like a lot of us men. He took his old suits to Goodwill or some thrift store where they would be put on a rack with a bunch of other clothes and maybe not used for its original purpose, if used at all. Then, Thomas was inspired through volunteer work with the Leadership Empowerment Center, a nonprofit organization that recognizes bright young people in Frayser, a high-crime, high-poverty area, and helps them prepare for college.
That inspiration, plus some help from co-founders Jay Lawler of Tom James Company and Will Moore of Atkins Capital Management, led to the Memphis Suit Project.
The Memphis Suit Project knows that coursework and motivation can only go so far. These job-seeking graduates have to dress appropriately for job interviews as well, which in a lot professional careers means a tailored suit if they want to be competitive.
“It’s not that they’re not smart or couldn’t do it, it’s that they haven’t had the opportunity,” Thomas says in Germantown Life.
The confidence and self-esteem these young men gain after putting on these suits is something special for Thomas.
Here are some basics to know.
To be eligible to receive a donation, all applicants are asked to do is perform one random act of kindness, and it doesn’t have to cost anything.
“There are no guidelines on what that act is,” said Lawler. “But we hope to spawn a ripple effect of good deeds throughout the Memphis community.”
Paying it forward is a great thing, folks.
How can you get involved?
You can drop off suits, or any other professional clothing, for a tax-deductible donation at any of the founder’s places of employment. Or, they can arrange for a pickup at your home or office.
Financial donations are also needed to cover the cost of tailoring, which is about $100 per suit. No one involved in the Memphis Suit Project is compensated – all donations go directly to the charity.
Contact one of the following to donate or find other ways to get involved
Justin Thomas – (901) 537-0010 – thomasfamilylaw.net
Jay Lawler – (901) 767-8826 – tomjames.com
Will Moore – (901) 435-0800 – atkinscapital-mgmgt.wfadv.com
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