IADT-Chicago Fashion and Merchandising Students Donate Their Talents to Help Veterans
September 28, 2011
•IADT General, IADT Chicago, Fashion Design and Merchandising
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Susan Wade, fashion design faculty and advisor, shares this dispatch from IADT-Chicago:
Pamela Perry, a veterans’ job placement specialist, has struggled for years to help clients of Inner Voice, an organization that assists the homeless and nearly homeless in Chicago. When a recent clothing drive for the veterans brought about an unexpected challenge, she reached out to the The International Academy of Design and Technology – Chicago – and got a lot more than she expected.
The story began when Pamela reached out to the Men’s Warehouse, hoping for a donation of 50 or so suits. In the past, donations to help her Inner Voice clients had been varied, from standard donations to loans from Inner Voice’s staff - anything that would work. When the donation from Men’s Wearhouse arrived, however, the organization was surprised to find that the company had donated over 1,500 suits!
The donation was incredibly generous , but it made storing and distributing the items a problem.
Pamela placed a call to IADT -Chicago inquiring about a loan of garment racks so they could sort and size the suits for distribution. IADT went one better than lending the racks, offering to assist with the overwhelming task of not only distributing the suits, but also helping size and make minor alterations for the men who had served their country.
Inner Voice and IADT’s Behind the Scenes club organized a daylong suit distribution event to invited veterans from local shelters and organizations. They offered up to three suits each for the clients, along with the assistance of students from IADT’s Merchandising Management and Fashion Design programs.
We created a shopping “experience” for the veterans, from measuring for the correct suit size to making minor alterations for hemlines. Our students styled the suits with a shirt and tie and wrapped up the “purchase” for the veterans to take with them. IADT’s visual communications department sent photographers along to document the event.
When we recruited for volunteers, the response was overwhelming - I had to turn a few volunteers away due to the size of the facilities. Thanks to all of those who participated! (Pictured in photo above, left to right: Bridget Elliot (Development/Communications Manager, Inner Voice), Susan Wade, Michael Trailer, Keith Waddell, Donisha Bowman, Rachel Signer, Annie Reid, Maria Muting, Marlon Baggett, Daniel Guzman, Kyla Manuel, Pamela Perry (Job Placement Specialist, Inner Voice)