Barbara Truncellito is executive director of Dignity U Wear, an industry charity that will hold its annual fundraiser in NYC on October 26. Malcolm Robinson is the president of the New York Advisory Committee. Here, we chat with them about the importance of this event.
Q: What makes Dignity special among the many worthy charities in our industry?
A: Dignity U Wear is a 16-year-old charity that offers new clothes to 220 agency partners in the U.S. We are the only charity that owns and operates its own warehouse. As a result, we can procure new clothes from apparel donor partners, sort them with the help of 1000 volunteers per year and fill orders. The clothes we send are based on individual personal needs and are matched by size to recipients so they actually fit. Our recipients are people in need (vets, women and children in crisis, homeless) and we focus on essentials like underwear and socks as part of the mix. We ship every weekday and we’re very efficient with expenses, running at less than 10 percent of deliverables.
Q: What are a few recent noteworthy donations and who have they helped?
A: U.S. war veterans receive a Brooks Brothers suit, dress shirts, ties, socks, underwear and belts in a Brooks Brothers garment bag with their name attached. They also receive a $100 gift card for dress shoes from Rack Room. Robert F Kennedy Children’s Action Corp built and dedicated a boutique for underprivileged kids at risk in Lancaster MA. All the clothing is donated by Dignity. Based on performance, this effort was duplicated in Western MA. It’s specialized deliveries for people in need.
Q: Why is the upcoming fundraiser so important?
A: The purpose is to raise cash to continue our operations i.e. the warehouse in Jacksonville, payroll, etc. We recently received the prestigious 4-star rating on Charity Navigator. We are very proud of this, and even prouder that we can restore dignity to so many by breaking the cycle of shame as it relates to appearance.
For tickets to Dignity’s October 26 cocktail event at the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC: BTruncellito@dignityuwear.org or 212-683-0369.