An old man walked up a shore littered with thousands of starfish, beached and dying after a storm. A young man was picking them up and flinging them back into the ocean. "Why do you bother?" the old man scofted. "You're not saving enough to make a difference." The young man picked up another starfish and sent it spinning back to the water. "Made a difference to that one," he said.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Tips for donating clothing and coats this winter to shelters

Today my Gift Idea of the Day came from a friend who posted on her FB page that she was cleaning out her coat closet to donate coats to the local shelter.  This is a wonderful idea!

Over the years I have had the privilege of volunteering with many organizations that house and help the homeless.  Every organization is different in how they operate and what donations they will accept.
Here are some tips for donating your clothing and coats this year:

1.       Search your closets for gently used clothes that you haven’t worn in awhile or that doesn’t fit.  Something that you consider no longer useful may be considered valuable by someone else.

2.       Check for stains, holes and other defects.  You want what you are donating to be able to be worn and to make those wearing the clothes feel good about themselves. Rule of thumb, if you wouldn’t wear it. Don’t donate it!

3.       Check the pockets of the items you are donating for personal items, money and other valuables.

4.       Wash the clothes and make sure they are clean and fresh.

5.       Identify the shelter where you want to donate your clothing/coat items.

6.       Verify the shelter is taking clothing and coat donations.  You can either do this by calling your local shelter or check their website.  For instance, in my community the local men’s shelter takes clothing and coat donations but the women’s shelter does not as they receive their clothing donations from local resale shops.

7.       If they accept donations, verify collection dates and times. 

8.       If they don’t accept clothing donations, either locate another shelter accepting donations or donate to a resale shop that donates their profits and clothing to shelters.

These are just a few tips I thought of off the top of my head this morning.  Please share other ideas and recommendations for donating clothing. I love learning from others!
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  1. I clean out my closet regularly to give away clothes and shoes that I'm not using. Shelters tend to need women's clothing in large sizes. I've been losing weight, so I'm happy that some women have gotten my nice clothes. As you said, make sure they're clean. Not everyone has access to a washing machine.


    1. Janie-Congratulations on losing weight. A gift to both yourself and those that are benefiting from your clothes. Nice work!