It is common for people to get emotionally stirred up when they watch videos of what is going on in third world countries. Hearts go out to them and wish that things could be different. And the feelings are genuine, there’s no denying that. But how many actually follow through on those emotions? How many people vow to volunteer and give charitable donations and do all they can to start helping families in need compared to how many actually do it when push comes to shove? They aren’t to blame, really. Life gets busy, emotions fade and it’s easy to forget again. However, thank goodness for those that don’t forget. The ones that go home looking for donations that they can give and find out where clothing drop off locations are; these people are the ones that make a difference.
The thing is, as a first world country, we can tend to be quite wasteful. Here are just a few statistics to prove that. Each year, approximately 10.5 millions tons of clothes are sent by Americans to landfills because they didn’t recycle them or donate them, they just threw them in the regular trash. On average, Americans only recycle or donate 15 percent of their used clothes. When the average American buys one to two pieces of new clothing every week, if every old thing was donated, we could practically clothe the world.
Donating is so easy it doesn’t make sense not to do it. Once you have all your clothes together that you want to donate, all you have to do is either look up clothing drop off locations or arrange with a charity to come and pick up the donations. Charities understand that people are busy and they try to make it as convenient as possible to donate. They do a good job of it to. You don’t even necessarily need to be home in order to have your donations picked up. If you arrange a time, you can let the charity know if the items will be in the front or back of the house and they will just pick them up from there. Make sure to specify that you want a receipt left in your mail box so that you can claim your donations on your taxes next year.
If you do decide to donate but just can’t seem to figure out how to start, the best way is just to step in to your closet and starting from the left, work your way to the right. Anything that you haven’t worn in six months can be let go. Anything that you would not buy right now if you saw it in a store can go. Anything that doesn’t fit can go. Just make sure that anything going in your donations box is gently used. Things with rips and tears and stains are not going to be accepted. Charities want to be able to take pride in clothing people. That’s all you need to do. Then, simply visit one of the clothing drop off locations or have them pick it up and you’re done. It’s as easy as that.
If you really see the value in donating and want to do more, a great way to start is by inspiring the people around you. Challenge them to go through their clothes and set a day that you will come by and pick up everyone’s things and together you can take them to one of the clothing drop off locations near by. Making it a group activity keeps people accountable and it makes it fun to. Making a personal decision to donate is great but some people just aren’t self motivated enough to really get it done. But if challenged by someone else they will get to work, especially if there are other people working on it with them. Celebratory drinks afterwards would not be amiss to reward yourselves for a job well done. If you’re feeling really brave, suggest that the group make it a bi-annual thing; twice a year everyone purges their wardrobes, donates and goes out for drinks. The group will be on such a high from doing such a good thing then it’s not likely anyone will disagree.