March 12, 2010 by Canadian Underwriter magazine
Local insurance industry fashionistas purged their closets and together donated over 14,000 lbs (roughly 12,000 items) of gently used mens and womens business clothing and accessories. This is the 3rd industry clothing drive to benefit Dress Your Best and Dress For Success Toronto not-for-profit organizations that help financially disadvantaged men & women dress for interview success, acquire jobs and restore financial self-sufficiency.
Organized by the Certified Restoration Drycleaning Network (CRDN), thirty-two major Greater Toronto Area insurance company offices and associations participated in Aprils clothing drive: The Dominion (the campaigns largest contributor, donating approximately 10 per cent of clothing through several GTA offices); Allstate; Chubb; The Cooperators; TD Home & Auto Insurance; Desjardins & The Personal; Royal SunAlliance; York-fire and Casualty; The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company; RBC; Sovereign; Xl Insurance Company; Intact (formerly ING Canada); Portage Mutual; SCM/Claimspro; Mclarens; Cunningham Lindsey; Insurance Institute of Ontario; Toronto Insurance Womens Association; National Restorations; Aviva and Pilot Insurance all graciously participated.
We are thrilled with the response received from our local insurance industry, says Garry Bradamore, Director National Programs, CRDN. The amount of clothing donated during this years campaign was significantly more than previous years. It truly demonstrates the generosity of the men and women within our industry, as they clearly identified with the need for this wonderful community cause.
The kind donations by the insurance industry personnel will help restore self confidence in the men & women we serve by their ability to look good and feel good in a professional interview situation, says Jessica Roelink, founder of Dress Your Best, Toronto. Many men and women who visit our clothing bank have experienced a variety of unfortunate hardships. For them, the expense of quality, professional business clothing is a luxury they simply cant afford.
As the key sponsor and organizer of the clothing drive, CRDN first promoted the campaign in January 2009; then distributed garment bags to interested offices in April. Last week they collected and began sorting relevant clothing and accessories for cleaning at their specialized restoration facility located at 1485 Dupont Street, Toronto.
For CRDN, the partnership with DYB made complete sense. We work directly with these insurance offices everyday and know they wear the type of items DYB requires. Equally, we clean and restore these types of items everyday, a lot of work but an easy decision to make during these times, says Bradamore. This type of charity fits very well with our organizations community responsibilities. As long as the clients support it, we are discussing expanding the campaign to other CRDN members across the country particularly, Vancouver, Calgary and Halifax.
Dress Your Best is a registered not-for-profit organization that helps Canadians from marginalized communities gain employment. Our program helps clients look impressive and feel confident. It helps to prepare them for job interviews and for the workplace. Our New DYB4Kids helps outfit children from low income families with clothing for school. Presently, clients are referred to DYB by over 175 nonprofit job agencies, as well employment counselors from shelters, youth programs and social assistance groups. In operation since 2000, Dress Your Best has helped over 6,500 men, women and children. Its goal is to outfit an additional 3000 in 2009. Visit www.dressyourbest.ca for more information.
About Certified Restoration Drycleaning Network
CRDN is an international organization of experienced, highly trained soft textile specialists that perform restoration laundry & dry cleaning services to the insurance industry. Adept at restoring textiles damaged by fire, smoke, water or exposure to mold and other contaminants. CRDN members offer an effective, efficient and proven solution for insurance professionals seeking to reduce costs and improve customer satisfaction while closing claims quickly. CRDN currently operates in Canada, United States, United Kingdom. The organizations Canadian web site is www.crdn.ca.
For more information contact: Garry Bradamore 416-828-2802