Norton Ditto has stepped up to assist the country’s returning war veterans.

The Houston-based retailer has collected more than 500 suits and raised $15,000 in contributions for a new charity initiative, Operation Suits for Soldiers. The nonprofit organization assists veterans transitioning back into the workforce by providing clothing, employment training, job leads and other services.

Last month, Dick Hite, owner and chief executive officer of Norton Ditto, hosted a kickoff event for the charity in his store where customers received a $150 gift certificate toward the purchase of a new suit or sport coat if they donated gently-used tailored clothing pieces to the initiative. President George H.W. Bush donated the first almost-new blazer. In addition, the store contributed new suits, sport coats, shirts and ties in partnership with manufacturers H. Freeman, Robert Talbott and Scott Barber.

“I had read in the paper that recent Iraq and Afghanistan veterans were having trouble finding jobs in Houston,” Hite said. “So I decided that Norton Ditto should take the bull by the horns and step up to help these heroes. A key factor that makes Houston stand out is our private sector’s willingness to lend a hand. We are proud that Norton Ditto has supported this philosophy for the last 104 years and is serving an unmet need with our partners in Operation Suits for Soldiers.”

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