|  December 22, 2014  |  
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Give a Suit, Change a Life

Your gift of gently used professional attire will make a world of difference in July

Chanlyut Director Bill Tsurnos believes 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 will have that opportunity this summer.

For the fifth consecutive year, CITC’s Chanlyut program is partnering with Men’s Wearhouse to support the self-confidence and potential of Alaskan men working for a second chance.

The annual Suit Drive collects clean, gently used men’s suits, shirts, jackets, ties, belts and shoes, which can be dropped off through July 31 at Men’s Wearhouse at 601 E. Dimond Boulevard in Anchorage. 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. During the past six years, Men’s Wearhouse has collected over 650,000 professional clothing donations to support unemployed individuals seeking to re-enter the workforce. This year’s goal is another 150,000 donations.

To recognize each donor’s generosity, Men’s Wearhouse offers 50 percent off their next purchase for every suit received. In addition, Men’s Wearhouse is asking consumers to participate by sharing personal suit stories and images with the hashtag #giveasuit. Men’s Wearhouse will donate $1 (up to $20,000) to its partnering nonprofits each time consumers do any of the following:

1. Follow @MensWearhouse on Twitter or Instagram

2. Tweet #giveasuit

3. Share or upload a photo of a clothing donation with #giveasuit

4. Share any of the videos found on www.nationalsuitdrive.com with their social networks

Chanlyut (“shawn-loot,” Dena’ina Athabascan for “new beginnings”) is a two-year residential, vocational, and educational program in Anchorage offering a new beginning for men facing the painful challenges of addiction, homelessness and/or reentering society after incarceration.

Modeled after San Francisco’s successful Delancey Street Foundation, Chanlyut is organized as a family, providing a structured, yet self-governed path for participants to achieve a better quality of life. The program emphasizes individual growth through hard work and commitment to change, as well as taking personal responsibility for one’s actions.

For many participants, Chanlyut provides the first real-world job experience they have had. Clothing donations are vital support for participants to feel prepared for their lives after the program, and confident in their continuing ability to make new, positive change each day.

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