Karen Hale is co-founder and former member of Graceful Spaces. She still volunteers around town, and wants to share what she has learned after years in the donations collection sector of the non-profit world.
Once you clear out your closet, (that’s a different subject) your clothing and accessories can go several different ways. Keep in mind that small local non-profits such as shelters, churches, and thrift stores are always short on storage and volunteers to process incoming donations.
- A note about taking stuff to Homeless Shelters- it is a kindness to their staff and volunteers to check whether they need the used clothing that you are thinking of dropping off. They may be looking for umbrellas and raincoats for residents that week!
Important guidelines for clothing donations:
DO deliver donations at the appointed times. Don’t leave things outside on off-hours.
DO give things in good condition. They can’t sell soiled or stained items.
DO give clothing seasonally due to storage issues, especially smaller locations.
These are two of my favorite businesses in Herndon who provide funding for local needs:
The Bargain Loft , (though mostly household) accepts in-season nicer women’s clothes, jewelry and handbags, but not shoes.
The Closet accepts men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, shoes, and accessories.
To donate clothes when you have a limited time frame or lack of transportation, these larger national charities listed below have lots of options. I support them as they provide jobs and are an affordable resource for budget-challenged families.
Lupus, Amvets and Purple Heart circulate frequently around our neighborhoods and will pick up bags of clothes, shoes and accessories outside your front door. You can make arrangements by phone or through their website.
Last but not least, Planet Aid and other organizations have metal bins in parking lots and gas stations for collecting shoes and clothes. Put those old sneakers in a plastic grocery bag, keep them in the trunk and drop then off when you see a collection bin. It’s better than on the floor of your closet!
That’s all for today.