Donating your gently used clothing, shoes and accessories is a generous and easy way to pay it forward. There are so many people in need of clothing donations, not only in this country, but throughout the world. In most major cities there are terrific local organizations that will collect your gently used items. (In Pennsylvania, for instance, there is a fabulous organization called Reuse Your Shoes that collects gently worn shoes and redistributes them to people in need.)
If you are looking for additional ideas of where to donate, here are some terrific organizations for donating your gently used clothing, shoes and accessories:
According to Clothes4Souls, every American discards over 68 pounds of clothing per year. This organization collects new and gently worn clothes for people in impoverished countries around the world. Clothes4Souls currently has over 670 donation locations throughout the country. Learn how you can get involved at http://www.clothes4souls.org/get_involved/.
Women’s Clothing & Accessories Donations
Dress for Success aims to create economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing them with professional attire and the career development tools to them thrive in a work environment. The organization has over 120 affiliates locations worldwide. For more information or to find a local drop-off location for gently used business attire, visit http://www.dressforsuccess.org.
Men’s Clothing & Accessories Donations
Career Gear helps men who are low income enter the workforce by providing them with business appropriate clothing and accessories. To date they have served over 30,000 men. Career Gear accepts business attire as well as briefcases, watches, cufflinks and coats. To find a location near you, visit http://www.careergear.org/get-involved/donate-clothing/.
Children & Teen Clothing Donations
If you have items that are unused, KIDS (Kids in Distressed Situations) provides new baby and children’s clothing and other items to children whose families are experiencing economic distress. To learn more, go to http://kidsdonations.org/pd_wtd.php.
Donate My Dress gives gently worn prom dresses new life for girls who cannot otherwise afford a prom dress. Visit http://donatemydress.org/donate.html to browse through the hundreds of drop-off locations throughout the country to find the one nearest to you.
Room to Grow provides parents raising babies in poverty with parenting support and essential baby items for the child’s first three years of life. They are currently located in New York and Boston. If you do not live in one of those cities, items can be mailed to either location. Visit http://www.roomtogrow.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=57&Itemid=65 for mailing addresses.
One Warm Coat has the simple yet vital mission of making sure that every individual has a warm coat to wear. They hold coat drives nationwide during the fall and winter to help local agencies distribute coats to people in need. Find a coat drive or location near you by visiting http://www.careergear.org/get-involved/donate-clothing/.
Soles4Souls is a partner of Clothes4Souls which collects gently used shoes and gives them to disaster victims. Find a drop-off location near you at http://www.soles4souls.org/about/locations.html. Since 2005, Soles4Souls has given over 19 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes to people in need in over 125 countries and throughout the United States. Crocs is also a partner of Soles4Souls and you can donate your gently used Crocs at any of their retail locations.
If your shoes are more than “gently” worn, Nike has a terrific “reuse-a-shoe” program that collects all brands of athletic shoes which are then recycled to create sports surfaces. Go to http://www.nikereuseashoe.com/ to locate the nearest drop-off location.
Bridal Gown Donations
Brides Against Breast Cancer Foundation collects new and excellent-condition bridal gowns which they then sell as a fundraiser for breast cancer patients. To contact the organization with inquiries about donating your bridal gown, go to http://bridesagainstbreastcancer.org/index.php/contact-us-2/.
Donations of Gently Worn Items
Planet Aid collects and recycles used clothing and shoes in an effort to protect the environment. They support sustainable development in impoverished communities around the world, with has clothes collection bins in 21 states. To find out if there are any Planet Aid collection bins in your area, go to http://www.planetaid.org/your-local-planet-aid.
Vietnam Veterans of America will pick up your gently used clothing and shoes. The funds from the sale of these items will benefit our veterans and returning soldiers. The VVA has services in 22 states, For more information, visit pickupplease.org or call 800-775-VETS.
Goodwill has a mission of putting people to work. The organization collects items from clothing to toys which are sold to benefit people in need with services such as employment placement and job training programs. Go to http://www.goodwill.org/get-involved/ to learn how you can get involved by donating your items and helping people get back into the workforce.
So, where do you donate your gently used clothing, shoes and accessories?