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The Junior League of Richmond is honored to announce today, Veterans Day, the launch of Boots to Suits, a clothing voucher program to assist Virginia veterans transitioning from military life to a new career. The League’s Clothes Rack stores will house this new initiative and provide vouchers to the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program (VWWP) and Petersburg Freedom Support Center (PFSC) to distribute to veterans preparing for job interviews and civilian employment.
“Our soldiers in combat say frequently to each other ‘got your six’ which is an insider’s reference to a soldier covering the back of the other,” said Sue Farrell, Sustainer member in the Junior League of Richmond and program visionary. “Boots to Suits does just that for these deserving men and women by covering their backs with an appropriate new wardrobe.”
The League’s Clothes Rack stores, located in Carytown and the Stratford Hills Shopping Center, sell high-quality secondhand merchandise provided by League members and community donors. Veterans will be able to visit either store location to shop for two career outfits at no cost, and will be able to make multiple visits over a 60 day period to complete their selections. Transitioning active members and veterans interested in the program, can contact VWWP at 804-371-1283 or PFSC at 804-451-0205.
The Clothes Rack stores annually generate over $500,000 to support the Junior League’s focus on training women as community leaders and volunteers through community projects and programs. Over the past eight years, the stores have partnered with Richmond Public Schools to serve as a workforce training site for students with special needs, and have provided clothing voucher support to Safe Harbor and ACTS (Area Congregations Together in Service).
The community is encouraged to support Boots to Suits by donating men and women’s business suiting and ties as well as casual attire, including khakis, button-up shirts, sweaters, blazers, dresses, skirts, blouses, slacks, belts, and shoes. Donations can be delivered to either Clothes Rack store location, Monday through Saturday, from 10am to 6pm at 2618 West Cary Street or 6780 Forest Hill Avenue. Large donation pick-ups can be scheduled by calling the Stratford Hills store at 804-323-6270.
A ceremony to celebrate the launch of Boots to Suits will be held on Wednesday, November 19,
2014, at 11:30 a.m. at the Clothes Rack Stratford Hills store location (6780 Forest Hill Avenue, Richmond, VA, 23225). John L. Newby II, Commissioner of Veteran Services, is scheduled to participate in the program along with representatives from the Junior League of Richmond and partnering agencies. The general public is invited to attend.
For more information about Boots to Suits and to sign-up for program updates, please visit BootsToSuits.org.
ABOUT THE JUNIOR LEAGUE OF RICHMOND:
The Junior League of Richmond (www.jlrichmond.org) is a nonprofit organization of women committed to the mission of promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. The League has over 950 members and reaches out to women of all races, religions and national origins who demonstrate an interest in and commitment to volunteerism. Last year, the League contributed more than 25,000 volunteer hours focused on developing and delivering community programs that combat childhood obesity and illiteracy; promote nutrition, exercise and healthy life style choices; and, build strong and stable families to support children’s scholastic and lifestyle achievements in Richmond’s East End community.
ABOUT VIRGINIA WOUNDED WARRIOR PROGRAM:
Virginia Wounded Warrior Program is operated by the Virginia Department of Veterans Services in cooperation with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services and the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services. Virginia Wounded Warrior Program (VWWP) was established in 2008 in response to the growing need to improve and expand services to our nation’s veterans and their family members coping with the impact of deployment, military service, post-traumatic stress, operational stress and/or traumatic brain injury. VWWP monitors and coordinates the delivery of behavioral health, rehabilitative, and supportive services for Virginia Veterans and their families.
ABOUT PETERSBURG FREEDOM SUPPORT CENTER:
The Petersburg Freedom Support Center is a highly collaborative, public-private sponsored service hub for active, reserve and National Guard service members, their families and our veterans. The ONESTOP houses a host of service organizations that provide the best resources throughout the Crater Planning District to include the Metropolitan Richmond area. We hope that this center will be a model for other state and local jurisdictions to further the care and benefit of our military population whether serving, discharged or transitioning back into their home or selected community, by providing customized wrap around services that lead to financial sustainability, employment, housing and healthcare.