Donate Clothing

We want our participants to look (and feel!) confident and professional.

 Thank you for your patience as we navigate our return to campus and best practices for safety! 


Updated October 29, 2020

To maintain the health and safety of our community, we are taking this time to pause clothing donation collection until spring 2021. Thank you for your continued support of our motivated job seekers, and we look forward to accepting clothing donations in the near future.


“The first time I put on a suit, I looked in the mirror and saw a boss looking back at me. I walked out the door with my head held high and the world looked so new.” – Corneisha

Our participants time and time again tell us how they get viewed differently on their morning commute, how people in the neighborhood will smile as they walk by, and how they feel a part of the downtown hustle and bustle – all because of how they are professionally dressed.

“I put on the suit and I look in the mirror and feel so much more confident about myself. It brought my swag back!” – Phillip

We want participants to wear an outfit that inspires confidence. That’s not just the perception of confidence, but the inner confidence, pride, and sense of preparedness that can come along with something as simple as buttoning up buttons.

Women's Clothing
  • Suits (blazer with matching skirt or pants)
  • Blazers
  • Dress pants or slacks
  • Blouses
  • Dresses
  • Belts
  • Dress shoes (closed toe, preferably flats) and tights (new)
  • Purses and briefcases
  • Overcoats

We are always looking for larger sizes in clothing and shoes.

Men's Clothing
  • Suits (jacket with matching pants)
  • Sport coats
  • Button-up dress shirts
  • Belts
  • Dress shoes
  • Ties
  • Briefcases
  • Overcoats

We are always looking for larger sizes in clothing and shoes.

Items We Can't Accept
  • Three piece suits
  • Sweat pants, athletic clothing/footwear, or hoodies
  • Corduroy pants and jackets
  • Denim or denim-like material (jacket, pants, or shirts)
  •  White, cream or bold color suits, slacks or skirts
  • Open toe shoes or sandals
  • Children’s clothing


How to Donate
  • If you are donating outerwear or any kind of bag, please check that there are no holes, tears, or stains, and that all zippers and clasps are in working order.
  • Clothing donations may be dropped off Monday-Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, at Cara’s offices located at: 237 S. Desplaines or 56 E. 47th Street, Suite 510C.
  • Upon entering the building, let the receptionist know you are dropping off a clothing donation.
  • As you drop off your clothing, you will be asked to fill out a receipt suitable for tax purposes and given a copy for your records.

Due to limited resources, we are unable to facilitate any pick-ups at this time. We would be grateful for clothing donations to be dropped off at our office.


For any additional questions or help with your donation, please contact Cara’s Office Manager, Lisa Schreck, at or (312) 798-3340.

Make a Donation

Your gift goes to work so every Cara participant can. We greatly appreciate any consideration you can give in support of our mission.

Gives a participant a 7-day transit card to get to Cara. $28
Covers the first deposit for a Cara participant to open a bank account. $50
Means a Cleanslate intern gets a pair of work boots. $115
Covers an eye exam and glasses for a Cara participant. $200
Gives one-time rental assistance to keep a Cara family in their home. $500
Gives 2 weeks of Cara's critical training to a motivated job-seeker. $1,200
Lands 1 Cara candidate into a permanent job. $2,500
Gives an employed Cara participant 2 years of retention and career-advancement coaching. $4,500
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