Posted by: Libby
Less than seven weeks ago, I started this group with a simple premise: Wear a pantsuit on November 8 (you know why).
On Election Night, while many of us (myself included) were hanging up our newly purchased or recently unearthed pantsuits to watch the returns come in, an estimated 500,000 people in America were homeless - spending the night in emergency shelters, transitional housing programs, or unsheltered. A harder to quantify but much larger number were also facing immediate and frightening questions of how to provide food for their families, stay warm through the upcoming winter, and simply make ends meet.
For our second Story + Action, Pantsuit Nation is proud to share the story of member Tanene Allison, a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School, former communications director for Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, and present communications and strategy consultant:
When I was 20, I was homeless and living in a youth shelter in San Francisco. To transition from the shelter to stable housing, I needed a job. But getting a job when you’re homeless or in poverty presents its own set of challenges. I was lucky enough to get an interview, but still couldn’t afford bus fare to the office, let alone any decent clothing. Job interviews can be hard enough, but they’re outright terrifying when you’re afraid you’ll walk in looking like you live in a homeless shelter.
As Pantsuiter Meena Harris wrote in a recent piece for Lenny, “In 2016, too many women still struggle to raise their families. They are disproportionately minimum-wage workers who juggle multiple jobs to make ends meet, and they still don't earn equal pay. The pay gap for women of color isn't just a gap, it's a canyon.”
This week, we are asking Pantsuit Nation members to donate clothing, especially those pantsuits that may still be hanging in your closet, but also any professional attire or winter clothing you are no longer using. You may wish to participate in Meena’s Pantsuit Drive, which she envisioned “as a way of honoring Hillary's public service — while recognizing the roads we still must travel, as well as the great service Pantsuit Nation has provided me in affirming the goodness, optimism, and generosity in all of us when we unite in common cause.”
If you would like to donate a pantsuit, please use the following mailing address:
P.O. BOX 170326
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94117-0326
You may also wish to donate to a local affiliate of Dress for Success, whose mission is “to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.” Find an affiliate near you.
We also encourage you to donate locally to a clothing donation center. Regional Pantsuit Nation groups or Pantsuit Nation inspired groups may have resources in your area.
If you make a donation of clothing, please complete this brief survey. This helps us track our collective impact, and we’re excited to share the results of this drive with you in the coming days and weeks.
Please share this post and tag us @pantsuitnation with a photo of your donation on Instagram and Twitter.
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