Neighbors in Need Your Used Clothing Donations Help People Closer than you Think

You probably comb through your closet at least once or twice a year, and come up with a couple boxes’ worth of clothes that are too big, too boring, or too just-not-you-anymore. While it’s pretty typical for an American household to have a fabric purge every now and then, the final destinations of secondhand clothing in the US are astonishingly variant—used clothing can end up anywhere from churches, corporate resale stores, local thrift shops, charity foundations, or even landfills. Yes, landfills—Americans cast off an average of 10.5 million pounds of unwanted threads into the landfills every year.
If you’re guilty of trashing yesterday’s wardrobe, there’s a way to give your duds a new life that benefits both the donor and the receiver.
The Need is Everywhere (It Could be Your Neighbor)
There is never not a need for secondhand textiles, regardless of their condition. If you think your old textiles are too worn for a clothing donation, think again. Even with holes, stains, rips or flaws, almost 100% of household fabrics and clothing can be recycled, no matter their state. Children in need of clothing, disabled veterans, and military families are a major focal point for charity foundations.
In 2006, 2.5 billion pounds of used clothes were purchased in America, saving all of that fabric from the landfills. Clothing that seems like it can’t be resold as apparel can be repurposed as cloth diapers, bedding for animal shelters and more. Local animal and homeless shelters are almost always looking for donations and will likely pick up clothing donations in their community.
Reuse, Recycle, Revenue
As a donor, you may be able to benefit from donating to your nearby charity foundations. Clothing and household donations can qualify as write-offs on your next tax return. A coffee maker, for example, can be written off for up to $15, while fine menswear including overcoats and suits can, on average, be worth $60 on a write-off.
Charity foundations near you can provide specifics that you need to be aware of when writing off used clothing donations. An important note is that donations worth more than $250 must include a receipt from the foundation to be written off on your taxes.
Help Others, Help Yourself
When you regularly flush out your closet, the reduced clutter can do two things for you: it could reduce the cramped feeling in your closet and home, or it can make way for newer clothes for you. A popular strategy for decluttering a closet is to turn all the hangers backwards—the hook of the hanger should be pointing towards you instead of away from you. When you wear an item, wash it, and return it to the closet, place the hanger as you normally would. After a given time—which could be one, three, or six months, depending on the size of your closet—it’s time to let go of whatever is on a hanger that is still facing backwards.
Finding a reputable, tax-exempt, non-profit charity foundation to give your secondhand clothing to will keep homeless veterans warm, will clothe the backs of children, and allow those in developing nations to purchase used American goods for a fraction of their original price. In fact, almost 15 million tons of recycled American fabrics have helped not only our neighbors and community members, but struggling people worldwide.

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