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Donations needed for 'Dress for Success'

Date: 2/29/2012

Feb. 29, 2012

By Lori Szepelak

WESTFIELD — Now in its tenth year, dressbarn and Dress for Success hope to collect more than 60,000 articles of clothing as part of its Send One Suit (S.O.S.) — Weekend donation drive.

The womenswear retailer at 425 East Main St., in the Westfield Shops, is among 825 locations across the country collecting new and gently used clothing from March 1 through 4. Store hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Professional attire sought for the drive includes suits, dress shirts, blazers, pants, dresses and shoes that will benefit women seeking to transition into the workforce.

"Since the inception of the Send One Suit campaign 10 years ago, dressbarn has helped more than 125,000 women across the country gain a renewed sense of self, as well as economic stability," Peggy Zulauf, district manager at dressbarn in Westfield, said. "Ask any of those women and I'm sure they'll say the donations they received were more than just gestures of good will, they were lifelines. It is our hope that now, more than ever, our Westfield friends and neighbors will help us in our quest to turn second-hand suits into second chances."

Juli Sporbert, manager of Westfield's dressbarn, echoed those sentiments.

"dressbarn cares about women and understands the issues that affect working women," she said during an interview with Reminder Publications.

More than 51,000 professional items of clothing were collected during last year's S.O.S. drive across the country, and this year, the goal is to collect more than 60,000 pieces of attire.

All donations will be given to the nonprofit organization Dress for Success, which will then distribute the articles to women looking to gain a job or trying to re-enter the workforce.

Sporbert noted that area women are "very supportive" of this drive each year.

"Donations help lift women up which is a wonderful way to give back to those in need," she said.

Anyone making a donation will receive a tax-deductible form and a 15 percent coupon off one's entire purchase for one of the donation drive days.

A unique feature of the drive is a pretty clothing tag labeled From My Closet To Yours which allows the donor to write a simple message to the eventual owner if she wishes.

For more information on the drive, call 568-8580.

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