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Mayor collecting suits for veterans

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

At least 50 gently-used suits were hanging from three racks in the main lobby of City Hall Tuesday. Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown is hoping to collect more, as part of a drive to give veterans free appropriate attire to help them in a job search and transition into civilian life.

The mayor's "Suits For Veterans" drive continues through Friday. Then, next Wednesday, veterans are invited to a distribution at the Belle Center at 104 Maryland Street, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

"There, veterans can show their ID card, they can get fitted for the suit of their choice, and then get a voucher. That suit will be cleaned and tailored by Colvin Cleaners," Brown said.

In addition to suits, gently-used shirts, ties and related apparel are being accepted.

Joining Mayor Brown to promote the drive and encourage donations was Medal of Honor recipient and Army Staff Sergeant David Bellavia, who said having the right clothing will make a difference to veterans who are looking to enter civilian life after leaving military service.

"You might be the most qualified candidate. Your experience in the military has made you the person that deserves this job. If you don't have the self-esteem, if you're wearing something you don't feel good about yourself in, this could totally change someone's day," Bellavia said. "It could totally change someone's interview. It could really be enough of a push to really get a job and get a foothold."

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