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How to Donate Clothes to Charity

Anuja Marathe Kanhere May 13, 2019
Are you looking out for ways to do charity? There is nothing better than donating clothes to less fortunate and needy people. Here are tips on how to donate clothes.
Donations are a very popular medium of giving away clothes to the needy and underprivileged people. They help to bring personal happiness as well as joy to the beneficiary. Here is a detailed guide to help you donate the right way.

Norms for Donating Clothes

Basically, you can opt to either donate good quality used clothing or completely new clothing. Either ways, there are certain norms that need to be followed while making donations. This helps make the donation acceptance easier for the needy.
When donating old and used clothing, the given points need to be kept in mind:
  • Make it a point to wash, iron or dry clean the used clothing.
  • If there happen to be any tears, missing buttons or broken zips, then the same should be mended before the clothing is actually handed over to charities. Avoid donating clothes that have prominent faded spots on them.
  • Now segregate the clothing into separate bags or boxes and label them appropriately. The segregation can be under categories such as women's clothing, men's clothing, women's accessories, baby clothes, sports wear, etc.
When donating new clothes, the given points need to be kept in mind:
  • You can buy new clothes or donate new clothes that have never been used by you.
  • Now segregate the clothing into separate bags or boxes and label them appropriately as mentioned before.
At times, the charities accepting donations may request the donors to handover clothing with their respective hangers. This is expected so as to keep the clothing from creasing. In such situations, donors are suggested to use cheap metal hangers for hanging all the clothes. However, do not expect the charities to return the hangers back to you.

Choosing the Appropriate Charities

Charities have their own style of working. Therefore, their mode of accepting clothing may vary too.
  • There are charities having their own collection centers or clothing banks in different cities around America. Donors are invited to drop off their donated clothing at these centers either with a name or anonymously.
  • There are some charities with vans that go around your neighborhood on specific days, say on a Sunday, picking up your donated clothing.
  • Charities may invite you to drop off your donated clothes at makeshift collection centers at some prominent locations on the streets.
  • Charities such as 'Pick Up Please' make personal pickup of donated clothing from your home for free. All you need to do is call them or send them a mail giving details of your address and convenient pick up timings.
  • There are few charities that have a tie up with your local malls. So next time you plan a shopping trip to the mall, do take time to select some clothes for donations. When you reach the mall, you need to handover the clothes to a charity staff. At times, malls may issue you a discount coupon in appreciation of the donation that you made.
  • There are certain charities that accept donations of good quality formal work wear. So, next time you think of chucking your old blazer, think of all the needy youth looking out for appropriate clothing for their first interview or work.
Some popular charities that accept donated clothes are:
  • American Red Cross
  • Vietnam Veterans of America
  • Salvation Army
  • Military Order Purple Heart
  • The Glass Slipper Project
  • Dress for Success
If you are unable to get in touch with any of these charities, you can always approach your local civic or religious charity group.

Ideal Clothing for Donation

If you are wondering about which clothes to be included in your donation sack, then here are some hints. You may include belts, blazers, blouses, coats, cuff links, dress shirts, dresses, jackets, khaki pants or skirts, knit or jersey tops, polo shirts, scarves, shoes, skirts, slacks, sport coats, suits, tie clips, ties and work boots.
Used clothing should ideally not include socks, undergarments, stockings and toiletries for hygiene reasons. There might be a needy few who might accept donated undergarments and socks as well, but that is rare. There are no restrictions on donations of new clothing. Donors may also give away accessories such as used jewelry, hand bags, watches, etc.

Why Should You Donate?

Ah yes, this is the most important question! There are numerous reasons why you should donate. Some of them are...
  • Donating clothes helps to de-clutter your overfilled wardrobe. All you need to do is keep your mind open and actually go through each garment in your possession.
There might be so many garments that don't interest you anymore or those that are way too small or those that are over sized, now that you have lost oodles of weight. You never know, but your wardrobe may have some long forgotten garments too. They say de-cluttering your wardrobe has a cleansing effect on few.
Who knows you might feel the same too. It also helps to make space for new clothes in your wardrobe.
  • Charities registered as 501(c)(3) have an authority to issue a charitable donation receipt that helps to deduct some amount from your tax. It is mandatory to submit form 8283 along with your tax returns for donated luxury garments.
Last but not the least, your donations are your way of making good for millions of American families that try hard to make the ends meet. A tiny donation from you has the power to put a smile on the face of a needy child. Isn't that the best reason to donate clothes?