Published: Sep 01, 2010 3:39 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 01, 2010 12:39 PM EDT

FORT MYERS, Fla. - From now until September 30, The Salvation Army of Lee, Glades & Hendry County, is partnering with Men’s Wearhouse to help disadvantaged men seeking employment get a boost of self-confidence during the third annual National Suit Drive, the country’s largest collection of gently used business attire.

This is The Salvation Army’s second time joining Men’s Wearhouse and approximately 200 other charities to distribute the items collected at Men’s Wearhouse in Lee County. Items collected include men’s and women’s suits, shirts, jackets, ties, belts, and shoes. Residents of Southwest Florida may donate their gently used and cleaned items at any of the following Men’s Warehouse locations: 4951 South Cleveland Avenue in Fort Myers, 9924 Gulf Coast Main Street in Fort Myers or 23050 Via Villagio # 101 in Estero.

In 2009 nearly 120 items were donated in Southwest Florida to The Salvation Army through Men’s Wearhouse. Many went to help men who are served by The Salvation Army’s drug and alcohol rehabilitation program, Crossroads.

Although the recession has affected a wide spectrum of the American workforce, 82 percent of job losses have befallen men, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, due to the economy’s particularly heavy impact on male-dominated industries like construction and manufacturing. Lee, Glades and Hendry counties have all struggled with some of the highest unemployment rates in the state over the past year, including the months of July and August, proving that many are still struggling to find work.

“With nearly one out of ten working-age men unemployed in this country, the economic downturn has disproportionately hurt the male workforce,” said George Zimmer, Men’s Wearhouse founder and CEO. “By collecting and donating professional clothing, Men’s Wearhouse aims to help men ‘suit up’ for job interviews and offset the ‘mancession.’”

Nationally, Men’s Wearhouse hopes to collect more than 100,000 articles of clothing to benefit charities like The Salvation Army again this year.

For every suit the company collects, it will donate one dress shirt to the cause. In addition to providing a tax receipt, Men’s Wearhouse is thanking donors for their generosity with a 25 percent off discount on their next purchase at Men’s Wearhouse.

For more information, call (239) 278-1551 ext. 225 or visit www.nationalsuitdrive.com