Sunday, October 21, 2007

:: One Box, Two Boxes, Three Boxes, Four ::

Now that I have those three garbage bags full of clean, gently used clothing, it's time to get them out of my house and into the right hands. Last night I did a little bit of research and discovered that if I want to donate them, I have two main options:

  • donate to a place that resells the clothes and uses the profits for some good cause

  • donate to a place that gives the clothing to people who need them - homeless families, veterans, battered women.

My initial thought was that I'd like to give them to an organization that gives the clothing directly to the folks who need clothing. For example, The Princess Project collects used prom and formal dresses and provides them to high school girls who cannot otherwise afford them. Similarly, Dress for Success provides suits for women who are trying to enter or return to the workforce.

Unfortunately, I don't have the sort of clothing that these types of organizations need. I don't have any winter gear to donate to homeless veterans or children, no suits to give to homeless women, no dresses for proms.

So the resell route seems best for me. Places like Goodwill, The Salvation Army, Planet Aid, and the Vietnam Veterans of America all collect used clothing and resell it, using the profits to benefit their various causes. A word to the wise, though: I recommend you do some research on what each group's cause is and decide whether you support it or not. Some of the policies and values of some of these organizations make me a little bit uncomfortable, some of them don't.

It's worth noting that many of these organizations accept more than just clothing. Goodwill, for example, also participates in the recycling of electronics. Finally, if you are a business owner, you might look into hosting a drop box for one of these organizations. Hosting a box for Planet Aid, for example, requires no time or money - the folks at Planet Aid take care of all collections. All you do is let them put their box on your property.


Julie Pippert October 21, 2007 at 2:02 PM  

Good for you!

I admit I eschew the salvation army, but have taken up Interfaith Caring Ministry because I so admire their cause and practice. Also a women's abuse shelter that is local.

Look forward to the next bit. :)

Using My Words