LIFESTYLE
How To Ensure Your Clothing Donations Are Doing Real Good
By JOSEE NG
Sort Donated Clothes
When deciding what to donate, knowing what items most donation centers will not accept can ensure the pieces you give can actually be used. This list contains underwear, clothing with flaws including holes, moldy patches, and permanent stains, as well as out-of-season clothing like summer suits donated in the middle of winter.
Make Clothes Look Their Best
Most charitable organizations sell donated clothing and use the earnings to help those in need, so your donations must have retail value in order to have an impact. Therefore, make a point of mending and spot treating items so they look good, and ask yourself if you would spend money to buy what you’re donating.
Research Where You Donate
There are many organizations that are specific about the items they accept, which may help your donations make it into the hands of people who need them. For example, Becca’s Closet gifts formal dresses to high school students in need, while Dress for Success empowers women by providing them with professional garments.
Disaster Relief Efforts?
Donating clothing to disaster relief organizations is usually not a good idea because the clothing is not useful, and relief organizations don’t have the resources to organize and distribute donations. Instead, FEMA suggests having a yard sale of used clothing to raise money for disaster relief operations that cater to survivors.
Think About Alternatives
If you don’t want to donate your clothes and you have some sewing skills, you can upcycle them by transforming the fabric into quilts, pillowcases, or even new garments. Alternatively, it’s not a bad idea to donate unwanted clothing to your local animal shelter, where it can provide warmth and comfort to stray animals.