Why the Spirit of Giving Should Stay a Little While Longer The Need for More Donations

Donation pick up

The holidays tend to bring out the best and even the worst of some people. As a society this commercialization of Christmas has turned into an epidemic with the average American spending $929 this holiday season up from the $882 last year. With so many gifts being given, opened, and never used it nothing short of a tragedy that there are families that couldn’t afford to have Christmas, a meal, or even a warm place to sleep. Humanitarian efforts try to provide for the needy, but with limited funding and donations the task proves challenging and heartbreaking. Understanding just how much we waste as a society may be all it takes to inspire someone to give.

Senseless Waste
The average person generates a staggering 4.5 pounds of trash each and every day amounting to a yearly total of 1.5 tons of solid waste. Recycling efforts help ensure that less resources get wasted by repurposing, donating, or recycling; if every American just recycled a mere one-tenth of their newspapers, as a society we could save around 25 million trees every single year. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that as much as 75% of solid waste is actually recyclable with just about 30% actually being recycled. Research shows that Americans produced 12 million tons of clothing and textile waste every year. The sad part is, around 99% of those textiles could have been recycled or utilized in some way but are instead left to rot away in a landfill.

The Power of Charitable Deeds
While we still have a long way to go towards a completely charitable society, the good news is we are making strong progress. In 2011 there were an estimated 2 million tons of clothing donations that were recycled or given to charities in the United States; the recovery rate for used clothing and textiles in that year was about 15.3%. Many charities are non-profit organizations that cheaply sell the clothes and donate the proceeds to a charity; in 2007 an estimated $5.8 billion in clothing related charitable donations were made to charity foundations in the U.S. Many Americans are helping out by shopping at these organizations with the average American purchasing up to 10 pounds of previously used clothing. Lets hope that for 2017 we can continue this upward momentum and give to help families and children in need clothing.

The Need for More
It is hard to consider what it must feel like to come upon hard times; to struggle to feed oneself and one’s family. Bankruptcy, foreclosure, poor investments, getting laid off: there are any number of reasons how this could happen to someone, offering a helping hand to someone might seem like a small personal gesture, but to them it may in fact mean the world. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that there were an estimated 207,000 recent veterans who were unable to find work as of March 2013. Across the United States the unemployment rate for veterans is 2% above the national average — consider this the next time you see someone in need. Everyone can help however but volunteering their time, donating unused clothing, or making a direct cash donation. Statistics show that one out of every 30 kids in the United States were children in need clothing and a home; this 2.5 million person figure represents an 8% increase from last year’s rate. Every year there are thousands of cold families with children in need clothing; don’t let the season of giving end without changing the life of someone less fortunate than yourself — that person could be you one day.