We live in a world where the pandemic has stripped us of the opportunity to don different clothes every single day. Since most of us have to stay at home, we end up having a lot of clothes that we no longer use.
By decluttering your home from old clothes that you no longer need, you are allowing the people who need them the most. There are millions of clothes that get dumped in the landfills, which is why donating clothes is always a better option.
So, how do you donate clothes and where? We answer that in this article and we’ll also point you to organizations that take such donations.
- 1 Donate Clothes To Homeless
- 2 Donate to Charitable Organizations
- 3 Donate Clothes to Relatives
- 4 Donate to Livelihood Organizations
Donate Clothes To Homeless
If you want to donate clothes, the best place to start is by going through organizations that cater to the homeless. Here are some of them:
The Salvation Army
This charity organization regularly donates to homeless shelters and they also support the LGBTQ+ community, veterans (thus, the name), and disaster victims. They will donate your clothes to thrift stores, which will help in funding the organizations’ rehabilitation centers.
This organization will accept nearly any kind of clothing as a donation. A plus point is that they will also take appliances, household items, and old furniture, so long as it is still usable. Simply search for a drop-off center nearby or have a scheduled pick-up from your home.
Vietnam Veterans of America
This organization also donates to the homeless, as well as veterans who need income and livelihood. As the name implies, they mostly serve Vietnam War veterans. Like most organizations, they will resell your old clothes and use the funds for their programs.
You can donate all kinds of clothing, including shoes and accessories, as well as a couple of household items, appliances, and furniture. Just make sure they are still usable and saleable.
Reasons to Donate to the Homeless
By giving to these organizations, you are making a change with the following:
1. Old clothes find a new home
When you send old clothes to the homeless-caring organizations, you are essentially giving them a renewed use and a second life. Think of that collared shirt that you don’t wear anymore because it no longer fits your body or your taste. Think of who else could wear that besides you.
Nowadays, we have an overabundance of clothes, so why not share with the less fortunate? After all, sharing is caring and clothes are a necessity to keep people safe from the elements (and also to look presentable and civil in the public eye).
As the saying goes: “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure”, so you never know what your old socks or shoes could mean to the homeless.
Even if they are out of style, unfashionable, or have permanent stains, that doesn’t mean that no one will wear them anymore! The homeless are people with limited choices so we have to give them a choice.
2. You do something good for society
As mentioned above, just doing a small little favor for the homeless will help society for the better. It’s always a feel-good moment once we dispatched something out of our home that we don’t need and then donate it to the people who truly need them.
Donation is a great deed that anyone can do, no matter what your economic status in life is. People will accept donations both in cash and in-kind – and donations in kind are usually much better because it shows more sincerity.
Be wary that donating cash could be prone to corruption practices but donations in kind cannot because they are already material items that should be used by the beneficiaries.
3. Less landfill waste
As we get rid of old clothes that we don’t need, we are reducing landfill waste. If we simply donated our clothes to the less fortunate, they won’t have to end up in
garbage bins and into dumpsites.
Not all clothes are biodegradable because many of them nowadays are made of polyester and spandex. This means that if we dump clothes into these landfills, they will take unnecessary space. If we just donate them to people who might still use them, they can be put to good use instead of sitting them almost forever.
Donate to Charitable Organizations
Many organizations around the world will make good use of your old clothes to help the environment and businesses. Here are some examples:
As a famous worldwide organization, Goodwill is a great place to donate your used clothes. They accept a lot of material items for donation, which is why they’re well-renowned and convenient. When they send your clothes to thrift stores, the revenue will be used by the organization for various programs for the communities, including job training.
Aside from that, Goodwill also cares about the environment by accepting various kinds of recyclable materials. These materials will get sent to recycling organizations to lessen our impact on Mother Earth.
Here’s what you can donate to Goodwill:
- Used clothes
- Household items
- Used furniture
American Red Cross
Perhaps we’re mostly aware of the Red Cross as one of the most reputable humanitarian organizations around the world. Not only will they cater to homeless people but they also assist disaster victims and the like.
You can donate your old clothes to any GreenDrop drop-off point. GreenDrop has collaborated with the American Red Cross so that they can find a good use for them. For instance, they can sell them in thrift stores, in which the proceeds will go to American Red Cross beneficiaries and programs.
If you can’t find a drop-off center to donate your clothes, especially during the pandemic, you can also schedule a pick-up from the comfort of your home.
Dress for Success
Founded in 1997, this organization will accept most work and business clothing. Their purpose is to provide low-income women with proper work attire to successfully get hired and/or maintain their position.
If you want to consider donating to this group, here are their donation guidelines. They also have different affiliates where you can drop off your donations. Always know their schedule first by contacting the drop-off point.
Free the Girls
For those who have old bras that no longer fit (or that you don’t need anymore), you can donate them to this group. They accept used bras of different sizes and are still wearable. Among their beneficiaries include victims of human trafficking, specifically sex trafficking, which also explains their organization name.
Before you donate, check out their guidelines and their donation form. They have different drop-off locations and will accept up to 5 bras in one go. However, you can also ship your bras directly to Indiana if you’re willing to send them a lot.
One Warm Coat
If you have a plethora of unused jackets, One Warm Coat will take them. Founded in 1992, this organization will take used coats and give them to the less fortunate – especially those who live in very cold areas. After all, coats are typically pricier than regular clothes so it’s a great act of kindness to share some warmth with these people.
Here’s what you can donate:
- Men and women’s coats
- Children’s coats
- The coats should be free of stains or holes
- The coats should be clean and wearable
Donate Clothes to Relatives
For those who cannot find a homeless organization in their locality, you can also donate it to your relatives and distant family members. By donating our clothing items to them, they won’t have to buy new clothes and thus, they will save money.
Aside from that, since they won’t have to buy additional clothes, that also saves our landfills from excess baggage (or garbage, rather). Another plus point of giving to your relatives and distant family members is that you’ll easily know whom to give certain items to.
For instance, you could donate most of your children’s old clothes to another family that has a younger child or two. In this way, the clothes will have a long lifespan and usage, not ending up in the dumpster.
Donate to Livelihood Organizations
If your items if clothing deems unfit for wearing (e.g. they can’t be sewn or repaired properly anymore), donating to livelihood organizations that turn worn-out clothes into rags can also work.
Not all clothes will look pristine and wearable so if you can’t find an organization for donation, you can look for a group that will turn old clothes into washcloths and other handy cloth items.
The Foraged Life is a space for sharing stories. From bits made from homegrowns or hand foraged from nature to places to explore and adventure near and far. From stories from the wild to encounters with people and the earth that point to a way of doing life that is conscious of treading lightly and lovingly.