LANCASTER – Nearly-new skirt and pant suits, blazers and jackets, professional shoes and handbags were on display at a press conference at Mental Health America (MHA) in Lancaster Wednesday morning.
The items were some of more than 400 articles of business wear recently donated to MHA’s Employment Clothes Closet, a program that provides MHA members with gently used or new professional attire to wear on job interviews and in the workplace.
The massive, much-needed donation came courtesy of the Greater Antelope Valley Association of REALTORS® (GAVAR), with help from the Rotary Club of Lancaster and George’s Cleaners.
“I’m just thrilled with the realtors, the brokers, agents, staff, affiliates, friends, spouses and clients… We feel good doing this, and we know the people who receive it will receive it in that light,” said GAVAR President Roe Leer.
This is the second year of MHA’s “Suited for Success” clothing drive, which helps remove a tremendous barrier for MHA members who don’t have an adequate wardrobe for interviews or work, according to MHA Executive Director Judy Cooperberg.
“Not only did GAVAR donate a ton of clothing, Rotary Club of Lancaster also donated a ton of clothing… and George’s Cleaners, for the second time, is a partner in this project,” Cooperberg said, adding that George’s Cleaners dry cleaned the donated clothing for free.
“This project is really geared for all of our members here at MHA, whether it’s our transition-aged youth, many of which have come out of foster care, the folks who are coming through our homeless assistance program, and also our veterans,” Cooperberg continued.
MHA member Harriett Johnson attended the press conference wearing items from MHA’s Employment Clothes Closet. She said the donation was “a blessing.”
“Finding work isn’t easy these days but I feel good going out in the clothes that have been provided to me,” Johnson stated. “Looking right gives me confidence, and I love the compliments I get.”