Clothing drive helps community
Posted November 16, 2010 at 11:46 pm in News
In hopes of making job-seeking community members more self-sufficient, two USC employees organized the second annual USC Professional Clothing Drive.
The clothing drive, which lasts until Dec. 17 and is sponsored by USC Employee Recruitment Services, USC Civic and Community Relations and the Southeast L.A-Crenshaw WorkSource Center, is a chance for USC to give back to the community, said Hector Ramos, a recruitment specialist who is co-leading the drive.
âThe objective of this annual clothing drive is for the USC community Â … Â to have the chance to contribute to the welfare and well being of our extended community here in South Los Angeles,â Ramos wrote in an e-mail. âIn the spirit of the holidays, this is an opportunity for the Trojans to make a difference and give back to the community in which we live, work and learn.â
The Southeast L.A.-Crenshaw WorkSource Center hosts numerous programs aimed at helping the community in time of need. The job readiness program helps the local unemployed find and keep jobs to provide stability. Participants in the program will be able to benefit from the clothing drive, Ramos said.
âThe clothing collected from this professional clothing drive will be donated to the local WorkSource Center in order to give community job seekers and residents a competitive advantage when they show up for their next job interview,â Ramos said.
Phil Barajas, an employee at the WorkSource Center, said the clothing donated to the center reaches many people.
âThis year we helped hundreds of people, from security officers that need to wear a dark suit all week, to someone that needs a blazer to interview,â Barajas said.
The clothing drive is in response to the rising unemployment rate in the last couple of years and the fact that many who are seeking jobs are not equipped to purchase professional business attire for interviews, Ramos said.
âOver 100 community job seekers took advantage of last yearâs clothing drive. And of those 100, 50 job seekers ended up finding full-time employment,â Ramos said.
Diana Seyb, personnel specialist for employee recruitment and leader of the clothing drive, said she was amazed by the participation last year.
âIt was amazing to see so many USC retirees donating clothing and supporting our efforts to provide professional clothing to the surrounding USC communities for both campuses,â Seyb said.
The initial idea for clothing donations was inspired by neckties at the WorkSource Center, Barajas said.
âWhen I started working here last year, there were a couple of ties to give out to clients. I thought. Why not bring my clothing I am not using to help the clients?â Barajas said.
He recruited his colleagues to do the same, the idea of the clothing drive evolved from there, he said.
USCâs involvement in the clothing drive began with David Brown, talent acquisition supervisor for employee recruitment, Ramos said. When approaching the WorkSource Center, Brown asked how the USC community could support them. Their reply was for professional clothing for their clients.
âDavid began thinking about it and realized that he had lots of high-quality professional attire that he no longer wore and it would be helpful to give them to someone who could use them,â Ramos said.
Donations will be accepted from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays until Dec. 17, excluding Nov. 26. Bins are located on the University Park Campus in the Employee Recruitment Services office, Figueroa Building room 100, and on the Health Sciences Campus in the Civic Community Relations office, Keith Administration Building basement and room 420.