Focus on the Finishing Touch
Taking a time out to send happiness through kind words and creativity.
UPDATE: When COVID hit in March 2020, Sharp Dressed Man downsized their facility because they could no longer meet clients face to face. They still managed to suit up 2,000 people in 2020; more than 10,000 overall. The $25,000 Neighborhood Assist grant not only kept them afloat, it started the momentum that helped raise awareness and even more grant donations.
As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of State Farm this year, we’re reflecting on how State Farm Neighborhood Assist has helped hundreds of communities since 2012. And this year, even more organizations (100 wink, wink) will receive State Farm Neighborhood Assist grants!
Confidence can make all the difference when interviewing for a job. And the right clothes can help you feel like you have the world at your fingertips.
That’s exactly what Christopher Schafer provides to men every Wednesday.
Christopher makes custom suits for a living in Baltimore. His passion for clothing, and the need to find an organization to donate unwanted suits, pushed him to create Sharp Dressed Man.
“I was bringing new suits to a client who had a couple bags of old clothes he didn’t want to wear because he told me I spoiled him with new custom suits. It was quite a compliment, but it came with trying to find a home for these clothes,” Christopher says.
Christopher discovered many organizations provided everything for men who were in need of a job – resume building, practice interviews and setting interview appointments – but they didn’t have the clothing to make the right first impression, so he created his own nonprofit.
“At Sharp Dressed Man, we focus on the finishing touch. Other organizations are bringing us guys going through a transformation, and we’re there to send them out the door to their interviews,” he says.
Sharp Dressed Man has suited more than 8,000 men, and is on track to dress 2,000 men this year. The men come to Sharp Dressed Man with a referral from a partnering organization. Every Wednesday at noon, Christopher sees a line of men stretching down the street. And all of them are waiting for a suit.
“We bring the guys back one at a time, working one-on-one with a stylist who measures them, sizes them and finds options. I want them to try the suits on for fit.
“If the clothes fit, we’ll give them all kinds of stuff, but they have to have clothes they want to wear and feel confident in.”
Sharp Dressed Man received a $25,000 State Farm Neighborhood Assist® Grant in 2018 to help impact more lives in their community. Part of the State Farm Neighborhood of Good® initiative, State Farm Neighborhood Assist is back for its eighth year in 2019. The program awards $25,000 grants to 40 nonprofit organizations to help fund neighborhood education, safety and community development projects.
The grant helped keep Sharp Dressed Man open.
“The grant covered our overhead costs – paying the rent and electric bill – and we got a new spot. It’s really hard to focus on trying to help people when you’re worried about paying the bills,” Christopher says. “Now, we can work on planning for the future.”
With more submissions and more grants, State Farm Neighborhood Assist® is going bigger on building stronger neighborhoods together in 2022. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of State Farm®, we’re awarding 100 $25,000 grants (vs. 40 grants in previous years) to causes making a difference in their communities. We are also doubling the number of submissions to 4,000. Submissions open on Feb. 16 at 1pm ET!