You’ve provably seen the donation drop off bins at various locations and car parks around the area, and wondered if they do any good. Do they actually help the people they are intended to help or are they just another well meaning but ineffective effort? How does it work? Should you make the effort to sort through the clothes in your closet and donate those you no longer wear? The good news is that it does help. Anywhere you see the signs indicating drop offs for donations for veterans or the blind or the environment, you can be sure that the money raised from sales will be used to fund programs that do make a difference. By donating clothing for charity, you’re also helping the environment by recycling clothing and household items and keeping them out of landfills.
Recycling clothes and household items
Donations of clothing and household donations help in a number of ways. No matter what condition they’re in, 100% of all clothing donations and household items can be recycled and reused. That’s much better than sending them to the landfills. While most people recycle the items like cans, plastic and paper, that can be put out for pick up along with the trash, the idea of recycling clothing hasn’t really caught on ad yet. In fact, 10.5 million tons of clothing are sent to the landfills each year in the U.S.
When you donate clothes, you’re keeping them out of the landfill. In 2006, donations of clothing that were sold as used clothing amounted to 2.5 billion pounds of fabric. That’s 2.5 billion pounds of fabric less going to the the landfills. About 45% of all used clothing can be reused. You may be tired of that old green velvet dress but someone else may love it.
Clothing donations fund charitable programs
Most of the time, we just stop wearing clothes because we no longer like them. They may have become familiar and boring, or you only bought it because it was on sale, or you’ve outgrown it. Or even better, it no longer fits because you’ve lost weight. Whatever the reason, you have a closet full of clothes in perfectly good shape that you’ve just stopped wearing.
Likewise household items. When you replace your old microwave or blender, there’s no reason to just toss the old one in the dumpster if it still works. It’s old, but it might be useful to someone else. By donating used clothes and household items to a charity that will use money from the sale to fund programs that help people, you’re doing something good for the environment and for people in need of help.
What are the best charities to donate to?
In 2014, Americans donated a total of $358.38 billion to various charitable organizations. Some people tend to donate more in the holiday season while others give year round. It’s always a good idea to make sure that your donation is going to a charity that will use the money well, spending it on programs that help people rather than on overheads and administrative costs. Donations for veterans, the blind and the environment all go to worthwhile causes with immediate needs.
It’s also a good idea to give to groups that have tax-exempt status under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. By dropping off your used items in a donations for veterans collection box, you can also benefit by listing them on your tax return as a tax write off. You can claim a $60 tax write-off for most men’s overcoats and suits and even $4 to $15 for a coffee maker. For items worth more than $250, you will need to attach a receipt to your tax return.
When you make donations for veterans, the environment or the blind, you can feel good about helping to support genuinely good causes.