A Diamond in the Rough

A Diamond in the Rough

When Marcia Hall first opened her antique shop behind the Chantilly Post Office, she never dreamed that it would also become a clothing donation outlet.

In late August, Marcia partnered with the non-profit organization Suited for Change to help with clothing donations. She wanted local women to have a more convenient drop-off location.

"Having to drive into D.C. to drop clothes off was turning people away," said Hall.

She found her store to be a great location for drop-offs. Hall's deciding factor, however, was knowing that it would bring in more business.

Due to its location at 4515 Daly Dr., Chantilly, Hall said that "Diamonds and Rust is a very difficult store to find, very few people stop in off the streets to shop here."

She knew that when women stopped by to drop off clothes, they would also browse around in her shop. Using Diamonds and Rust as a drop-off outlet would benefit everyone — Fairfax County women would have a more convenient drop-off location, Marcia would get more business, and the charity would get more clothing.

"It's a win/win situation for everyone," said Hall.

Suited for Change is a non-profit, D.C.-based organization that provides business attire for low-income women seeking jobs. It also works with social services to get women placed in the workforce. The women are taught basic job skills and are prepared and clothed, from head to toe, for interviews.

"A big part of office simulation is acting and looking the part before actually feeling the part," said Susan Craver of Training Futures, which is the job-training part of Suited for Change.

Once hired, Suited for Change gives clients a week's worth of clothing, all donated by the community. To date, Suited for Change has helped more than 9,500 area women transition into the workforce.

With the help of area volunteers, this past Saturday, Sept. 18, Diamonds and Rust packed a U-Haul moving van with more than 2,000 articles of donated clothing and delivered it to Suited for Change's Washington headquarters.

This trip was just the first of many for Diamonds and Rust. Due to its success, the company has decided to continue its partnership with Suited for Change. Starting Tuesday, Sept. 21, Diamonds and Rust will begin accepting donations for the Dec. 11 clothing drive. Donations can be dropped off between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. every Tuesday.

Suited for Change especially needs plus-size and petit-size clothing, as well as wide-width shoes. A complete list of acceptable items can be found on the Web site, www.suitedforchange.org.

"Although the community has been very responsive, there is always a need for more, and it feels good to help others," said Hall. "Everyone can make a difference."