Career Gear provides professional clothing, mentoring and life-skills to help men in poverty become stronger contributors to their families and communities.

2015 BBQ AT HILL COUNTRY

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April 1st marked the return of Career Gear’s Annual BBQ Soiree at Hill Country NY. A night looked forward to (with mouth-watering anticipation) by returnees, as well as by newcomers ready to party for a great cause. The event was a culinary, musical, social, and most importantly, charitable success!

The food ranged from classic Texan hors d’oeuvres such as brisket tacos and mini macaroni-and-cheese pies (an ingenious delight), to the centerpiece – the savory, tender brisket accompanied by cucumber, scrumptious cornbread, and the sauce du jour – BBQ. A special thank you to our liquor sponsors Bacardi and Peroni for the open bar! The music was fun Midwestern rocking provided by the talented all-girl band, Your Ex-Girlfriends.

The night may have been fun, but the focus on helping low-income men get back into the workforce was ever-present, and most poignantly represented with the speech of our client Dion. Raised in an addicted and fatherless household, Dion was introduced to Career Gear while finishing a substance abuse program. He recalled the sensation of being suited, noting, “after being fitted with a suit, I felt like a million bucks.” But, the suiting program isn’t the only way he was supported. “Not only did Career Gear offer a suit to get back into the workforce, and a positive force to get me going – but they also offered professional workshops and a remarkable atmosphere with a lot of help.”

As our ‘success story’ of the evening, Dion is a shining example of overcoming adversity. “Coming from a place where I was once begging for change, to a place where I currently represent change, is a blessing.”

The night was a huge success! And while we could spend forever thanking our attendees, donors, and volunteers – we think Dion did it best: “Nothing feels as good as making someone else feel good. So thank you all for making a difference.”

Spotlight on a Career Gear Participant

Legally blind since the age of seven, Marco taught himself to read and write. Nevertheless, he was mainstreamed into high school and graduated in the top 10% of his class. After high school, Marco was told that blind people were not supposed to pursue careers in the sciences or engineering. After many frustrating years, Marco received a scholarship from the government PASS (Plan to Achieve Self-Support) Program, which permitted him to pursue his education at a SUNY college.

While in school, he received multiple grants and scholarships, which covered the full cost of tuition and also allowed him to build his own adapted electronics laboratory. Marco graduated cum laude with a Bachelors of Science in Computer Systems and Engineering and quickly went on to obtain his PhD in Robotics. Soon after, he learned that he was not saving the required amount of money as prescribed by the PASS Program, and the government issued a full recoupment of all monies paid out. As a result, Marco lost everything and become homeless.

Marco first came to Career Gear to get a suit for an upcoming job interview, but after learning about our Professional Development Series workshops, he decided to enroll in the classes. Marco quickly became a role model to the other students, rarely missing a class and always engaged and interested. He took a particular interest in our workshops on “How To Market Yourself To Employers” and “How To Start Your Own Business.”

Since participating in the programs at Career Gear, Marco has been able to reconnect with his community and felt a renewed sense of confidence and motivation. Recently, Dr. Marco Bitetto had his nervotron research and hardware based architecture for artificial neurons acquired by IBM to develop a neural network based super-computer for the Department of Defense. Although, unfortunately Dr. Bitetto’s patent had already expired, as a result, Marco was hired as a scientific advisor to the Nervotronic Corporation. His is also starting his own company where he will develop new robotics technology.

We believe that Dr. Bitetto’s story shatters a lot of myths about what sort person ends up unemployed and struggling for self-sufficiency and we are pleased that Dr. Bitetto has shared his story and this quote “Thanks to the help of the staff at Career Gear, I have a new start in life. Career Gear has given me another chance to become successful.”

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No Doubt You Will Find Something That You Like

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Looking for that perfect gift for a hard to please man in your life? Maybe you are a snazzy dresser who has a keen eye for fashion with a budget wallet. Check out the Career Gear Charity Auction and Consignment Sale happening now until Sunday, December 14th.

Included in the auction are brand new items as well as several rare, one-of-a-kind previously owned items that would make the perfect gift for anyone who likes high-end menswear and accessories.

This auction is not only a great way to get your loved one a memorable holiday present, it also allows you to donate to one of your favorite causes while doing your holiday shopping! All money raised during the auction will go towards Career Gear’s programs.

Have a look at what’s up for auction by CLICKING HERE.

Oh, and while you are checking out our auction, can you help us win a $25,000 grant from eBay and you may win a shopping spree!

Throughout December, the charity that receives the most new “Favorites” on eBay will win a $25,000 grant! Please take a few minutes and add us as your Favorite now!
Please click: Favorite us on eBay to make us your favorite.

Plus, you could win too! EBay is giving away a $2,500 eBay gift card, along with other gift card prizes, to randomly drawn supporters who favorite a charity! It’s a win-win. That’s it! Thanks for your support and giving us a chance to win this grant!

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