That Suits You: Helping Young Men One Fitting at a Time
BY GRACIANO CLAUSE
Coming across people working toward a collective purpose and creating resources for changing the outer appearance of men today is something we do not see often. However, Gerard Kersey, a father, husband and pastor looks towards establishing a legacy for men today and the next generation with “That Suits You” (TSY). Kersey founded the nonprofit organization to help men who are looking to land jobs, but lack the resources to have the clothing required to make a lasting impression.
Q: What made you want to go above and beyond with changing the outer appearance of men?
A: It comes down to two things for me. I’ve been doing a lot of interviews with guys who are qualified for work, but just not dress appropriately. I want to be able to assist these men so that can get employment, be ready for graduation or prom. The second part was constantly seeing minority men on television sagging, in a gang, or tied to some type of criminal activity. Seeing those negative images of minority men is not the full aspect of all. By taking control of the images that are going out is what we do to constantly promote well dressed men so that we can have that positive image on how men are supposed to be seen.
Q: When was TSY founded?
A: We started the organization that I founded in 2013. Prior to that about two years before, I wanted to how could we affect young men and even older men to better their image. It’s important for them to know their worth. At the time I didn’t know what to do so I did a lot of research on starting the non profit organization on the internet on finding ways to give suits to men.
Q: What’s the three T’s Excuses of Businees in your blog pkspitch.com?
A: The reason why I came up with the blog is because you hear a lot of things that people want to do with the vision the have, but they don’t realize that it’s not a cake walk. You’re going to have set backs, failures, work, things of that nature getting in your way. So I was just talking about reasons that people really don’t go forward with their plan because they’re Tired, lack the Tools to effectively achieve greatness and Time. You have to find a way to prioritize to make sure you can make that dream a reality. Otherwise you’ll end up at a job you don’t like because you didn’t push past those excuses, you just wind up settling.
Q: Why do you think people forget about the importance of appearance?
A: I think it goes to being a student first. It’s so important to be taught first to those that went prior. So often we neglect relationships thinking the most important resource is money, but I believe the most important resource is having people. People can actually get you somewhere that money can’t. A relationship can open up so many doors that money can’t. As we learn to network and listen to those before us we’ll learn to carry ourselves better with character and dignity. My parents were consistent and stable when teaching me good character growing up. That was the foundation that helped everything else come and without that don’t think I would have the foundation I have now.
Q: How does someone get involved with TSY?
A: Anyone can get involved as far as donating clothing, being a program that wants to work with us to do workshops and presentations. The can also be involved as being a volunteer by helping us at different events or sharing or information on social media. Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook is where you can find us at or ThatSuitsYou.org to let us know how they would like to be involved.
Q: How many suits have you donated?
A: Throughout the five borough including out of state we’ve donated close to 1300 suits. We assist the men that come through our program with suits, shoes, ties and any type of other accessories that they require. We’ve suited guys from 17 to as old as 65. We suits all ages.
Q: What advice do you give to people while taking the program?
A: We teach people that the suit that we give them is not just for the job they go after, but that they are the most important ingredient. So they have to make sure they make quality decisions for your life. The suit is like the icing on the cake when they receive it after the program, but the knowledge the leave with is intangible and will stick with them. So many guys get emotional following up with us because they tell us nobody has ever giving them something like this. Some of the suits we give are very expensive ranging from $500 to $1,000 dollars.
Q: Where do you see TSY in the future as you guys continue to grow?
A: I see TSY growing not just in the United States, but all over the world. Whenever someone sees a man in a suit that shows that he’s in control and we want to give them the feeling that they’re in control of their destiny. We want to give men that final ingredient toward pushing themselves over the top.