Shara Mondy is a woman that I read about in the June 2010 edition of the Ladies Home Journal. The article entitled, Well Suited, is written by Kathleen M. Reilly.
Having had much success with a program for disadvantaged women called Dress for Success, she felt inclined to do something similar for men. This desire was prompted by the fact that many women that she met while speaking at different events for Dress for Success, would approach her. They wanted to know where they could send their husbands suits. At the time she felt bad that she had to let them know that the Dress for Success Program was designed specifically for women.
Not resting comfortably with having to reject suit donations, she returned to her home in Jacksonville, FL. While there she began researching similar programs available for men. Disturbed that there were none she began working on developing a business plan and seeking out grants. As a result in 2004, Suited For Success became a much-needed reality.
According to this article Mondy states, “At first I just asked my male friends to donate their gently used suits and work clothes. They mentioned it to their buddies and suddenly people were calling and e-mailing me everyday to say, “Hey I want to help out too”.
This endeavor eventually led to assisting the men in job skills, developing a proper resume and going through mock interviews. Suited for Success is staffed by volunteers. In addition to providing these homeless and ex-offenders with a suit, they are also furnished with ties, socks, T-shirt and underwear. Mondy’s goal is to integrate these men back into society in a way that they would be prepared to face the challenges in their new way of living.
Suited For Success now serves approximately 200 clients on a monthly basis. They now have 3 locations in the Jacksonville, FL area.
Ms. Mondy has teamed up with Tommy Ford, a sitcom comedian on a special project. Later this year they will be unveiling their signature tie line. The men will have an opportunity to sell them while earning a portion of income from the sales. It will also be an outlet for networking.
In her closing remarks Ms. Mondy states, “But our mission is to help men be healthy, happy and successful in every area of their lives.”
And because of her efforts in trying to make a positive difference in the lives of so many men, I proudly salute Shara Mondy as today’s American shero.
Ladies Home Journal Magazine, June 2010 Edition, Pages 56, 59