Third time is definitely not the charm.
As the nation still attempts to find way to deal with the third hurricane in just the last few weeks, the folks in Puerto Rico appear to be the ones struggling the very most. With reports that indicate that 100% of the small island is without power, people in the continental U.S. are still trying to come to grips with nursing home residents who died in the heat. Many years after the nation dealt with the high number of deaths from Hurricane Katrina, the nation collectively shakes its head that even after all we should have learned in New Orleans that some of Florida’s most vulnerable still fell victim to Hurricane Irma.
From organizations that accept clothing donations to groups that accept monetary gifts, the nation continues to work toward solutions to some epic situations. And while many of the problems that the nation faces today can seem overwhelming, a growing number of Americans look toward local organizations to find a way to help.
Are You Part of a Local Group That Is Trying to Help Those in Need?
It was a poignant moment. As the head volunteer for the new church pantry prepared to train the high school youth group in how they could participate in this project, she had the perfect lesson planned. When the students and their adult sponsors entered the space the volunteer coordinator began with an overview of the purpose of the pantry and a report of the people who came for help during the first day it was open.
The next part of the orientation was to ask for one male and one female volunteer to grab a cart and a paper bag. Before the two students were asked to select food items from the shelves, the volunteer coordinator gave each of the students a roll of toilet paper for their bags and explained that food stamp programs do not allow for the purchase of paper goods. Next, she handed the students a personal care bag filled with samples of shampoo, body wash, and other items. The students then made their way through the shelves and selected the number of items that they were allowed based on the number of people in their family.
Finding a Way to Involve Volunteers of All Ages Helps the Common Good
From working with organizations that accept clothing donations to groups that provide a food pantry, these charities continue to rely on volunteers of all ages. The fact that those who are in need are of all ages, is one indicator of how important it is to find both teens and adults to help collect needed charity donations. And while some people have a passion to work with organizations that accept clothing donations, others find a way to distribute food or collect money for those who are most in need.
Consider some of these facts and figures about helping families in need, whether those efforts are through organizations that accept clothing donations or groups that collect food or money:
- 95.4% of Americans participate at some level of charitable giving. Are you one of them?
- Unfortunately, research indicates that 12 million tons of clothing and textile waste is thrown out in the U.S. each year. Crowded landfills are a growing concern in this nation.
- In the year In 2012 alone, Americans composted and recycled almost 87 million tons of material.
- Even your old and worn textiles and clothing can serve a valuable purpose. In fact,of the roughly 2 million tons of used clothing Americans recycle each year, less than 50% is ever worn again. Still useful, though, 30% of these textiles are cut up for use as industrial rags, and another 20% is shredded for couch stuffing and home insulation.
- Even more unfortunate is the fact that the recovery rate for used clothing and textiles in 2011 was only 15.3% in the U.S.
Whether you find your motivation to help from the latest natural disasters or you have been a volunteer all along, the decision to work with organizations that accept clothing donations or other needed items can help you find power in a time when the problems can seem overwhelming.