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Old Suits Bring New Opportunities

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SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — A national business helps a local non-profit give suits and people new opportunities. Men’s Wearhouse is holding its 6th Annual Suit Drive. The way the deal works is you take an old suit in and you get half off of a new one. But some say that isn’t even the best part. While, folks are getting a steal on new threads, they’re also helping people find work in their very own community.

“Mckenzie Personnel is a non-profit organization and we’ve been serving Lane County with people that have and experience disabilities through vocational services,” said Mckenzie Personnel Systems (MPS) Employment Specialist Anna Baki.

Located in Springfield, it is there that the donated suits and their recipients get a second chance. Charles Paxton is one of those people who is grateful for what a new used suit could do for his future.

“I want to be there for my daughter and a job’s the most important thing for a family,” Paxton said.

While the whole nation is experiencing difficulty finding work, Paxton’s demographic is struggling even more. Only 18% compared to 63% of those without a disability are employed. And though it may not seem like much, MPS employees said programs like this are a blessing.

“You know how you feel when you get a new outfit? There’s that extra confidence? I think that plays a big role in this interview process too. So they’re all dressed up and they look great,” said Baki.

Paxton said, “You want to be able to dress to impress the boss or whoever is going to hire you and a suit is the best way to go.”

So while the job hunt continues, Paxton said he believes the new fit definitely brings him closer to employment.

“It made me feel good. I was bit nervous to put it on because I’ve never had one in my life, but I got used it,” Paxton Said.

And he hopes that soon he’ll also be getting used to a brand new job.

The drive will go through July 31st, but the non-profit said the women need help too. The guys there have much to choose from, but it’s slim pickings for the girls. If you have any business clothing you’d like to donate, contact Mckenzie Personnel Systems.

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