It is spring cleaning time, and it could not be easier to get rid of the clothes that don’t quite fit anymore or don’t quite fit in your suitcase.
The National Student Partnership is sponsoring its first clothing drive to collect clothing for clients to wear on job interviews. Last week, NSP representatives sat outside residential college dining halls, signing people up for clothing pick-ups. Currently there are bins outside each dining hall where students can drop off unwanted clothing until the end of finals period.
NSP co-coordinator Athena Theodoro ’04 said a “couple dozen” people signed up for pick-ups last week, and NSP has collected clothing from them this week.
NSP, which started at Yale two years ago, is a nation-wide organization with a local mission of helping unemployed New Haven residents find jobs. One of NSP’s functions is to help people prepare for job interviews, and the idea for the clothing emerged from this program when NSP volunteers realized many of their clients did not have appropriate clothing to wear on interviews, Theodoro said.
Theodoro described interview clothing as khakis, collared shirts, nice shoes, jackets and ties — anything formal to casual that one could wear to an interview.
NSP co-coordinator Alexis Ortiz ’04 said although the main purpose of the drive is to collect dressier clothes, any clothing donations will be accepted.
“Stuff we have left over that we can’t really use for interviews, we’ll give to places around New Haven,” Ortiz said. “Most of our clients are pretty low income, and many of them have kids, so they can use anything. We’ll make use of everything we get.”
The Hartford branch of Dress for Success, a national organization dedicated to giving needy people clothes for job interviews, has donated a “vanload” of clothing to Yale’s branch of NSP, Ortiz said.
The donations will not be sitting in storage during the summer months, however. Ortiz said several NSP volunteers will be in New Haven to keep the office open over the summer, sort the clothes to create a “clothes bank” and begin distributing them as they continue to work with clients.
“As soon as [the clothes] are there, as soon as people need them, hopefully they’ll be able to use them,” Theodoro said.
The NSP clothing drive is not connected to today’s Old Campus “Trash Day,” which is also accepting donations of discarded clothing.
Ortiz said though the clothing drive will continue for the next couple of weeks, NSP is happy with the outcome so far.
“We hope to get more as people are packing up and have clothes they don’t want anymore,” Ortiz said.