Charity donations can take the form of clothing, food, household items, and of course money. A little over 95% of Americans like to make some sort of charitable donation. But if making a monetary donation is outside of your ability at the moment, it’s okay. Clothing donations are still a great form of helping families in need. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
What Can I Donate? Does It Have to Be Practically Brand New?
While it is perfectly okay to donate clothes with the tags still on, most people will make charity donations with what they can comfortably give away. For the average person, this takes the form of gently used clothing. Clothing qualifies as gently used if it shows clear signs of wear, but is not torn, stained, or full of threadbare sections.
A good start is to examine your closets and dresser drawers. Are the drawers overflowing? Is it difficult to separate hangers because the closet is so stuffed? Cleaning out your wardrobe will give you more space in your home. As you pull out old items, double-check to make sure you’ve washed them recently. This means that any piece that is dusty, musty, or questionable deserves a spin in the washer before being sent off.
Recycling: When Your Old Clothes Are Too Old For Donating.
Some people do not take proper care of their clothing. That might be why they’re willing to donate it, but if the item does not fall into the gently used category, it must be recycled instead. Paper and plastic might be the go-to image people think of when they think of recycling, however textiles are creating a big problem in our landfills right now. About 10.5 million tons of textiles end up in landfills each year. Make sure your old jeans and sneakers aren’t adding to that pile. It is speculated that only 15% of people donate their older clothing items. For a real change to be made that number needs to grow. Do the right thing and make sure your actions are adding to the right number.
Perhaps you do sometimes through away old clothing items. It might seem that the amount isn’t really that much, and that surely you are not a part of the problem. To break it down to the individual level, it is estimated that each person throws away about 82 pounds of recyclable textiles each year. This might be in the form of old sneakers, dusty suit jackets, or jeans full of holes. The next time you go to toss an article made of textiles, think twice and recycle instead.
Okay, I’m Convinced. Now Where Can I Donate Clothes?
If you’re lucky, your charity donations can be picked up from your house. It’s certainly the most convenient option for many people. A quick online search can help you find a donation center near you, and many of them even allow donators to arrange their pickup online. For those places that do not offer this service, you will need to set aside some time to drop off your old items. Make sure they have been washed, folded, and are in a box or sturdy bag. Some places will have a drop box location, while others will require you to make the drop off in person. If this happens, you’ll usually be handed a receipt that comes in handy when tax season rolls around. The more clothes you donate, the more receipts you’ll collect. This goes for household items as well.
Charity donations are always appreciated. It might not seem like much, but to someone else it can make quite a difference. While we typically think “money” when we think about making a donation, there are other ways to give that are still of value. Donating gently used clothing items is a step in the right direction. Just remember to wash them first. And if you can, try to have someone else pick them up. You’ll be making a positive difference by helping someone else out, and keeping excess waste out of the landfills.