Hill Talk: Staffers Can Donate Gently Used Suits

Posted June 3, 2008 at 3:45pm

People from across Capitol Hill today are cleaning out their closets to help those struggling to re-enter the work force.

The fifth annual Capitol PurSuit Drive encourages staffers and other Hill “suits” to drop off gently used business attire, including suits, dress shirts, blouses (hangers requested), belts and shoes, in the foyer of the Rayburn House Office Building today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Organizers expect to beat last year’s record of more than 10,000 men’s and women’s suit donations to low-income, D.C.-area residents who lack proper interview attire.

Lobbyist Dave Wenhold, a founding partner of Miller/Wenhold Capitol Strategies, started Capitol PurSuit as a way for professionals in Washington, “a city of suits,” to make a difference in the community.

“Why not give back to the place where we all work?” Wenhold said. “Once people have a suit, they have a feeling of confidence that someone believes in them.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will speak at noon in the Rayburn foyer. Reps. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) and Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) and others will join Pelosi in the remarks.

All the suits will be distributed to D.C. community through local and national nonprofit organizations, such as Working Wardrobes and Career Gear D.C.

The Capitol PurSuit Drive is a one-day event and is open to the public.

— Melissa Giaimo