VA has made ending homelessness among Veterans a top priority, along with finding gainful employment as an avenue to personal stability.
When the Veteran Benefits Administration’s Records Management Center’s (RMC) assistant chief Frader Smith heard about an opportunity to help Veterans dress for success, she and other RMC team members jumped in to action.
Along with H.E.R.O.E.S. Care, American Legion Post 397 and Farmers Insurance, they held a suit giveaway in Afton, Missouri, for Veterans.
Smith, known as “Smitty,” along with former Servicemembers Vera Howard, program support assistant, Toi Little, quality assurance supervisor, and Tysonia Fuller, Veterans advocate program support supervisor volunteered to help with the effort.
“This wasn’t just a suit give away, but an opportunity to change a Veteran’s life. When you look good, you feel good, and when you feel good anything is possible,” Smith said.
“Veterans served our country well, and this is a way to help honor their service,” Fuller remarked.
The women served as battle buddies to help Veterans select a suit and all the accessories to compliment a look aimed at getting them hired.
“I appreciate the fact that the price tags remained attached to the suits. Something as small as a price tag says ‘I value you,’” stated Little. Each suit ranged in cost from $400 to $900, depending on the designer.
“I loved the opportunity to greet other Veterans, see the look on their face and provide dress for success essentials,” said Howard.
In addition to suits, Veterans received a pair of shoes, a dress shirt, tie and overcoat. About 500 Veterans benefited from the giveaway.
Local news coverage of the event can be found here.
About the author: Tisha Tyler is with VBA’s St. Louis Records Management Center.