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Give a Suit, Change a Life July 2013


The men of Chanlyut sport professional attire donated through the 2012 Men’s Wearhouse National Suit Drive.

PHOTO: By Wayde Carroll Photography

Donate your used professional attire in July, and someone in need gets a second chance

Chanlyut Program Manager Bill Tsurnos believes strongly that if you look good, you’ll feel good, and that helps create real change. “Wearing a nice suit changes the way the men think about themselves,” Tsurnos said of the participants of Cook Inlet Tribal Council’s (CITC) Chanlyut program.

“At Chanlyut, change happens from the outside in. If the men look good, they feel good, and their behavior changes.” Thanks to generous community donations from the Men’s Wearhouse National Suit Drive, the men of Chanlyut ought to be feeling pretty good this summer.

During July, CITC’s Chanlyut program is again partnering with Men’s Wearhouse to help disadvantaged men get a boost of self-confidence during the 6th Annual National Suit Drive. Items collected include men’s suits, shirts, jackets, ties, belts and shoes. This is CITC’s fourth-consecutive year partnering with the effort.

Donated items should be clean and only gently used, and can be dropped off through July 31 at the Anchorage Men’s Wearhouse at 601 E. Dimond Boulevard. Suits and apparel in larger sizes are especially needed.

Nationally, Men’s Wearhouse partners with more than 150 non-profit organizations to collect and distribute articles of professional clothing benefitting numerous charities across the country. Last year, more than 130,000 items were donated nationally during the drive.

As an act of gratitude, Men’s Wearhouse will offer 50 percent off a donor’s next purchase at Men’s Wearhouse, and will donate two new ties for every suit received. In addition, for every National Suit Drive mention on Facebook (Men’s Wearhouse) and Twitter (#giveasuit), Men’s Wearhouse will donate $1 to the cause, up to $25,000.

Chanlyut (“shawn-loot,” Dena’ina Athabascan for “new beginnings”) is a two-year residential, educational and workforce training program offering a second chance for men who want to become productive members of society and turn around the self-destructive patterns in their lives. The program provides a structured, yet self-governed path for participants to achieve a better quality of life.

Organized as a family, Chanlyut stresses individual growth through hard work and commitment to change, while taking personal responsibility for actions. Chanlyut is modeled after San Francisco’s successful Delancey Street organization.

For many of the program participants, Chanlyut provides the first real-world job experience they may have had. Donations like clothing help participants be better prepared for life after the program, and offer a bit of confidence and self-esteem to some men working hard to make positive change each day.

For more information, visit citci.org or www.nationalsuitdrive.com.


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