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How To Donate Your Clothes

When you no longer need, want or can use certain clothing and footwear that’s still wearable what do you do with it? Pass it on to a family member, friend or colleague. Throw it away or donate it.

You might like to donate your gently used clothes, but you might not know how to go about it. It’s really not that complicated and can go a long way to helping others - in ways far beyond what you might think.

So, get ready to roll up your sleeves (so-to-speak) and learn how and where you can make your clothing donations.

Prepare Your Clothes for Donation

As I pointed out in my article Build Your Sustainable Wardrobe, you should take certain steps to make sure your clothes are suitable for donation. And please remember that the donation box is not a place to dispose of just any old thing. Ideally, your clothes will find new life with a new owner, and they should be in wearable condition.

Here is a quick guide the Do’s and Don'ts of Donating:

Do Donate

a. Items you haven’t worn at all, or in over a year.
b. Things that are too tight or too loose (which you can’t have adjusted).
c. Styles that no longer suit you.
d. High-end suits, shirts and trousers.
e. Footwear that is in good condition.

Don’t Donate

a. Undergarments or socks. These are too intimate and need to be bought new.
b. Garments that smell bad or are covered in pet fur.
c. Things that are stained.
d. Items with holes or torn areas (unless that is part of the design).
e. Pieces with missing buttons or broken zippers (you can always have them fixed before donating).

Where To Donate Clothes

Where to donate your clothes

Now that you know how to prepare for donating your clothes, let’s look at where and how you can do that.

Clothing donation can be as easy as making a phone call, or filling out a quick online form. These are some of the organizations and places that would be happy to receive your donation:

One Warm Coat

Did you know that approximately 200,000 people die each year from the cold? That is a staggering figure which is sure to rise given the current pandemic.

One Warm Coat is all about literally providing a warm coat to people who would otherwise go without one during the frigid months. Not only do the recipients need a coat for outside, they also need to wear one indoors if they can not afford to properly heat their home.

This could be your neighbor, your colleague, your relative or a friend. You never know who is actually in need.

You can donate your family’s gently used coats by clicking here. You can also organize a coat drive by following the guide on One Warm Coat’s website. Give the gift of warmth today.

Soles4Souls

Beckett Simonon is honored to partner with Soles4souls which takes formerly worn shoes and delivers them to economically deprived communities all over the world. Your shoes will either be received directly by someone in need of high-quality footwear or by someone who is setting-up a micro-business selling shoes. Either way, your donation will go a long way to help a community in need. Click here to find out more about this life changing organization.

Salvation Army

donate your clothes to the salvation army

You might be familiar with The Salvation Army from seeing Santas ringing bells and collecting cash donations during the holiday season. Or, you might know about the organization’s thrift stores. But do you know what type of work The Salvation Army actually does?

In addition to offering a host of support services, The Salvation Army also runs homeless shelters, food pantries, training programs and job training (among other things). You can arrange a free pickup of your clothing donation by clicking here.

Your items will then be distributed and sold at one of the organization’s thrift stores with the proceeds going to “fund our Adult Rehabilitation Centers, where those struggling with drugs and alcohol find help, hope, and a second chance at life.”

American Red Cross

According to their website, “The American Red Cross exists to provide compassionate care to those in need. Our network of generous donors, volunteers and employees share a mission of preventing and relieving suffering, here at home and around the world.” In order to fulfill this mission, the ARC relies on your generous donations. They have partnered with GreenDrop, an organization that actually picks-up and distributes donated items. 


GreenDrop also services Purple Heart to help veterans, National Federation of the Blind which assists the visually impaired and St. Vincent de Paul, a community outreach non-profit.

Review GreenDrop’s policy on what they accept here, and schedule a pick-up here.

Goodwill

Goodwill focuses on providing individuals with the training, resources and skills-building workshops they need to find a new job, or perhaps a first-time job. As stated on their website,

“Goodwill career centers prepare job seekers for in-demand careers. People come to Goodwill to learn new skills, earn credentials, create résumés, and prepare for interviews. Last year, Goodwill helped 1.5 million people build competencies, earn jobs and advance in their careers. More than 24 million people accessed Goodwill virtual career navigation, training opportunities and online hiring events.”

This is especially needed as so many people have lost their gainful employment during the pandemic. The proceeds from anything you donate will “help someone find a hob, strengthen your community and preserve the planet.” Excellent initiatives, wouldn't you agree?

Find a Goodwill donation center near you by clicking here.

Planet Aid

donate to planetaid

Planet Aid supports a variety of initiatives to help protect the environment, and assist people in need across the United States and around the world. Your donated clothing takes an interesting journey from the donation box, to the processing center and beyond until “the money earned from the sale of used clothing to help fund sustainable development projects that help the poorest of the poor.”

Find a Planet Aid donation box in select locations by clicking here.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many ways in which your donated clothes can go a long way in not only staying out of the landfill but also to helping individuals and families improve their lives.

The organizations mentioned really make it so easy for you to help someone in need. Go ahead, start your spring cleaning early and donate your gently used items to one of them.

Thank you for your consideration and compassion.

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