SEARCH
« How a Texas Woman Recruited by Her Father to Rob Banks Is Moving on With Her Life | Main | One Dead After Officer-Involved Shooting at North Carolina Mall »
Friday
Dec252015

Baltimore Tailor Gives Men in Need Custom Suits 

iStock/Thinkstock(BALTIMORE) --  Over 400 Baltimore men waited in the pouring rain for hours Wednesday so they could be fitted in donated suits.

Christopher Schafer, a Baltimore tailor and founder of Sharp Dressed Man, hosted the free giveaway.

"We serve men who are down on their luck," Schafer explained. "Whatever that might be. Whether it's drugs or jail or depression. And sometimes it's all of those things mixed together."

 After Schafer received bags of old suits from one of his loyal customers back in 2012, he had no idea what to do with them, but he knew he wanted to find them a great home. So Schafer created his own non-profit, Sharp Dressed Man, and has been working with local organizations ever since to ensure the suits go to men in need. That led to a partnership with The Living Classrooms Foundation, an organization offering hands-on job training for men who are re-entering the workforce after years of being imprisoned. They also offer education classes and maritime programs for Baltimore youth.

John Jones, 49, turned to the Sharp Dressed Man to secure his own custom blazer, pants and tie almost three years ago when he was released from prison after serving 30 years.

 "When I walked in I felt like a movie star because you stand there and then they measure and fit you," Jones remembered. "It made you feel important. I felt like I belonged. It made me stand up proud. It made me feel like people did care."

Jones added that he wasn't just given any suit. "They took pride in getting the right size and made sure it fit," he said.

Afterward, Jones said he couldn't wait to "take that first picture...to send to my mother."

Jones said he eventually landed a job at Living Classrooms, where he helps other men who have recently left prison. He even takes members of his support group to Sharp Dressed Man for suits.

"A lot of these men have been incarcerated for 10 to 49 years so they're coming home with basically nothing," Jones said. "And here is someone who is giving you a suit and they don't owe you anything. They just say, 'Take the suit and make it work for you.'"

Jones added: "My guys are now working, they're getting married, they're helping each other stay out of prison. It's just astonishing."

Schafer said success stories like Jones' keep him going.

"I've learned you have to use your time, talents or treasures. That's the way you give back," he said. "I was led this way and I just put one foot in front of the other. It just feels right."

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.







ABC News Radio