Donating Doesn’t Always Have to Mean Money
If you’re wondering how to give back this holiday season, there are other options available other than just giving money. Donating clothes, for example, is one way to give back to the community without having to give money — and this can be good practice for little kids, who don’t have money to give, but want to do their part. Starting philanthropic practices young is always a positive lesson for them to learn! Donations for military families can also be wrapped up in donating clothes — and this can be clothing that you purchase, not just gently used clothing, if you want to know exactly what your money is buying you. Donating clothes and toys that you’ve purchased for drives for donations for military families is also an excellent way to give back and make our community bonds stronger — it could be just the care package they need while their loved one is away fighting for our country.
Why Should We Think About Giving Back More?
Even though we’re a nation of consumers, there are still plenty of Americans around us, who desperately need our help. For example, in Philadelphia alone, there are almost 450,000 residents who are below the federal poverty line. When you think about how many families struggle to put food on the table, the fact that we generate over 21 million tons of food waste a year is a bit sickening.
By making a clothes donation or a food bank donation, you’re helping those around you in a significant way. Gifts of money also help, of course — around 70% of people regularly give to charity every year and about 3% of our annual income is donated to charities every year as well. Many donors who gave significant sums cited wanting to give back to their community as the main reason why they donated.
Your donations do have an impact — every person should have access to a roof over their heads, clean clothes, healthy food, and water that’s safe to drink. With donations, these things are made possible.
Giving back can also make you a happier person and feel more enriched spiritually and mentally.
How Do Clothes Donations Help?
Donations for military families often have requests for clothes, especially for children, so you’re helping the families of our armed forces if you donate clothes to a particular fundraiser or charity raising donations for military families!
Donating gently used clothing can have two purposes. First, you could be giving directly to a person in need, offering them a warm and clean set of clothing to wear — important, because appearances do count! Secondly, you could be donating your clothes for use in charitable shops; a portion of the proceeds from most of these shops goes into the charitable organization that runs the shop, which in turns, helps those in need with programs, food, and other donations. So your gently used coat or pair of jeans could be helping fund something much larger. Around 80% of donated clothing in the United States is funneled through charitable organizations who donate to those in need or who use it for funding, as mentioned above.
Are There Other Advantages to Donating Clothes?
Heck yes! Did you know that by donating your clothes, you could also be saving the planet? The Environmental Protection Agency reports that we throw out ten pounds of clothing annually — cumulatively, that’s 12 million tons of clothes that are tossed out every year! We can help cut that number down drastically by recycling our textiles and making clothing donations. You may even get a tax break while doing it, if your items are worth enough!
It’s also a good excuse to purge your own closet and cut down on what you have. There’s a good chance you don’t need or even wear everything in your closet and it could find a good home somewhere else.
Giving back doesn’t have to be hard — it can be as simple as walking to your own closet, looking in, and deciding to donate items you don’t wear anymore. It could be volunteering your time and money at charitable organizations and events. Do your part now and help give back.