As mentioned in my last journal entry, this weekend I was planning to do something special. I was getting rid of my suits and business wear that no longer fit, what I affectionately refer to as “the fat suits”. Moores is having its annual clothing drive for menswear. I’ve been waiting for this because their charities will give the clothes to low-income men who are going on job interviews, training, etc. Many clothing drives sell the clothes and use the money to fund their programs. There’s nothing wrong with this approach, but I prefer the direct assistance approach.
Someone asked me why I didn’t just sell them on Kijjijji or some website. As you’ll see in the photos below, there’s so much stuff managing the sales would be a full time job. I did offer them to any of Facebook friends who wanted to sell them in the Glebe Yard Sale, but there were no takers.
Mostly, I wouldn’t sell them because it seems wrong. I’ve been blessed with success. My success would not be possible without the support of friends and family. I can never repay that debt of gratitude, it’s just too deep. Since I cannot repay my debts, I will pay them forward so that my success will benefit someone who needs the kind of support I have been so generously given.
This is pretty much every item of business wear I had purchased prior to the beginning of May 2011. Some of those suits date back to before I left for Washington, DC in 2005 to start my PhD. There’s also some old (and not so old) winter coats a few pairs of shorts, including the plaid ones I compared to a kilt in an earlier post. There’s a lot of memories in that pile. The suit I wore for my first visit to Washington, DC, in 2004 is in that pile. The suit I wore when I first met Stephen Harper a few days later is in there, too. As are the suits I wore when I met Brian Mulroney (even the tuxedo for the dinner when we dedicated the building in his honour at St. Thomas University), the GG, countless other luminaries and, most importantly, friends. Even the suit I wore for my PhD commencement less than two months ago made it in there.
The first task was to get them out of my apartment. I had arranged with building security to have an elevator put on service. Avril, one of the friendliest security guards you will ever meet, was worried I was leaving. “No, not leaving,” I replied, “It’s just going to look like it.”
My friend Christian Maillett, he of Bald Guy Running fame, offered to help with his car. His first reaction to the size of the charity pile could be summed up with the letters “W”, “T” and “F”. We first loaded everything in the elevator and brought it down to the service entrance from which we would load the car.
As you can see, we loaded it to the gunwales and, Wu Tang blasting from the car stereo, headed the Bank St. location for Moores, the scene of the crime.
We arrived at peak time at the store, but my regular sales lady, Liz, stopped everything to help us. Pretty much everyone was agog at the amount of clothes coming in. I brought so much in, they couldn’t count it all before Christian had to go pick up his wife from Yoga. It’s not like we didn’t have another stop to make, too. Back in the car and crank up the Wu Tang. Ah, memories of the STU years.
I had a bag of clothes that didn’t fall into what Moore’s was looking for. I actually bagged this stuff up before I began losing weight because it was stuff I just wasn’t wearing. I looked around for a charity box to deposit the stuff in for months. Finally found one on Isabella St. when I had to make a stop with cousin, Glen, a few weeks back.
And thus marks another milestone on this journey. Big thanks to Christian for the help.