Kevin Livingston is the Founder and CEO of 100 Suits for 100 Men. Founded in 2011, the organization was created to serve the needs of men and women in need of business attire in New York City.
In 2015, the organization obtained 501 (c)(3) non-profit status and expanded its programs beyond suits. 100 Suits has tackled socio-economic issues and has been an integral part of the communities they serve. Recently, the organization shifted to food delivery work to support seniors and others in need during the pandemic.
“No one could have told me that when I started the senior delivery in the first week of March…that it would turn into a Cutlery program,” says Livingston. “And we would hire several young people from our community people to run it. Truly amazing!”
100 Suits Supporting Families During Pandemic
When the pandemic hit in March 2020, millions of Americans were faced with unexpected challenges. Livingston decided to step up to the plate, organize a team of individuals, and make a difference where it was needed most.
On March 6th, Livingston created a senior delivery program to help those most vulnerable to the woes of the pandemic. Since March, 100 Suits has delivered over 22,000 home groceries and meals to seniors in Queens, New York. Through the 100 Soups Program, the organization provided weekly home-cooked soups to families in homeless shelters. The organization also developed the #Feed500 initiative to provide fresh produce boxes.
Livingston created a culinary program for youth to fuel these initiatives. During the summer, the youth came together and cooked meals to be delivered to seniors. This program created 12 new jobs for youth who were impacted by the cancellation of traditional jobs.
100 Suits was also there to provide personal protective equipment (PPE). The team distributed 30,000 PPE which included masks and sanitizer.
Building the Next Generation of Leaders
100 Suits has been on the move since the pandemic started. The organization has been able to help the most marginalized individuals in Queens, ranging from underprivileged youth to seniors.
“As I look back we have done a lot and one of the proudest moments I have is our senior program is supervised by an 18 yr old,” says Livingston in an email to Black Enterprise. “I love my team because they along with myself put our lives on the line to help others.”
Even during the pandemic, 100 Suits has stayed true to its core mission: providing resources that create employment opportunities. Before the pandemic, this outreach came in the form of suits, free haircuts, and salon referrals. Colin Kaepernick has been an instrumental supporter, donating custom suits to prepare more men and women for job interviews.
Now, the organization has been a part of the job creation process. 100 Suits provided 10 jobs to formerly incarcerated men and women to become Social Distance Community Ambassadors. The team handed out PPE masks and sanitizers, They also encouraged testing to ensure the safety of residents.
“Children, young men, and men of color need to see people like themselves represented in a positive light by “ordinary” people. Furthermore, it provides a framework for them to understand that dreams coupled with hard work lead to success and empowerment. It speaks to possibility, demonstrates hope, and has the capacity to spur someone else to pursue their dreams despite the lack of initial support.”