Jerrod Mustaf of Take Charge Foundation in Prince George's County, Md., Holds Belt Drive To Stamp Out Baggy Pants

10:29 PM, Oct 15, 2012   |    comments
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PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY,  Md. (WUSA) - They're saggy, they're baggy, their underwear hangs out. But still, the street-smart style of saggy pants hangs on.  

But now Jerrod Mustaf, Executive Director of the Take Charge Foundation in Prince George's County has a new way to fight back: a belt drive. 

He's working with churches, schools, and businesses to put out a donation box for people to throw in gently used belts. 

He says it comes down to one thing: "You can't get a job. Image is everything in our community, kids will not get jobs and we know how tough it is in our communities to get a job."

He's appealing to parents, since many times, they're the ones buying the clothes. But he knows they have competition for teens' influence. "Parents and adults have to become influencers. We have allowed the rap game to influence what we do." 

The website has a slideshow of pictures of celebrities and rappers who wear their pants slung low. It includes 50 Cent, Nelly, Lil' Wayne and others. Mustaf says there's a difference between the celebs and the teens. "These guys, because they're celebrities or they're rappers, they have a certain style. That style does not work in corporate America, and how many little Waynes are there?"  

The former pro basketball player says that he hopes the prison-influenced style goes away. And for those who don't know the origin, he explains, "If you were the property of another man, then you wore your pants down low, and that was the indication that you were available."   

Janya Etheredge, of the Columbia Heights neighborhood in Northwest D.C. shared her thoughts on the trend. "It's wretched, meaning, like, it's unprofessional, very unprofessional and is unnecessary."

Drop-box locations include:

- Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department 

6820 Webster Street

Landover Hills, MD

-Town of Mount Ranier 

I Municipal Place

Adams House

5001 Silver Hill Rd

District Heights, MD


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