HOUSTON - As the war in Afghanistan and Iraq comes to an end and soldiers make their way home, they're facing the new battle of getting a job. A Houston-area store is helping in the nationwide Hire Our Heroes initiative with a Suits for Soldiers drive, giving them a fresh start on a new life.
Norton Ditto, 2425 West Alabama, is taking donations through April 8 for gently used or new suits and sport coats.
Anyone who donates to the cause will receive a $150 gift certificate towards another purchase.
"We have received approximately 500 suits and/or sport coats in about the last month," said Roger McMahan, a Norton Ditto manager.
McMahan said they're not only collecting the clothes, but they are also offering to tailor them free of charge.
Several store employees said they're overwhelmed by the generosity of Houstonians and say this year, donations more than tripled.
The Suits for Soldiers program is more than just clothes. It also offers job search training and placement assistance for transitioning veterans in the Houston area through staffing specialists.
"There have been probably about 10 soldiers that have been hired through this process," McMahan said.
Any used suits not selected by veterans will be re-sold at other used clothing stores to raise money for job or educational training for soldiers.
McMahan said, "It has been a phenomenal success. It exceeded our expectations and I just really have to thank the people of Houston for their support."
Dress for Success Houston has also gotten involved by donating new business suits for female soldiers.
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