Americans are charitable people. About 95.4% of people around the United States give to charity in one way or another. Many people like the idea of giving back to the community but are not sure how they can do it. Not everyone has the money to spare to make that kind of donation. At the same time, many people cannot make the time to volunteer. The good news is that most people have clothing in their closets and other items around their homes that they can donate to charity. People around the country made about $5.8 billion in charitable clothing donations in 2007. By donating clothes to charity you can do a lot towards helping families in need. Here are some of the ways these donations for non profit organizations are great for helping others:
- It is good for people who have just lived through a disaster. The United States sees some of the worst weather on the planet. Between tornadoes, hurricanes and blizzards, no corner of the country is safe from extreme weather. Add to that the resulting floods and then wildfires and earthquakes and it is no wonder we have so many nonprofits who accept charitable clothing donations. When people experience one of these events, they often have to flee their homes with nothing but the clothes on their back.Your clothes donations can do a lot to help these people get back on their feet.
- You can help people afford clothing for their families. Often when people make charitable clothes donations, the items are then sold in the non-profit’s consignment shop. These clothes are sold at prices that many low income families can afford. These shops make it possible for many people around the country to be able to afford clothing for their families and can make a big difference in their lives. This can be especially needed by families with small children and professionals who are trying to get back into the workforce.
- You need non-profits open and operating. It has been estimated that at least 80% of all clothing that is donated goes directly to people who are in need or to be sold in the charity’s consignment shop where the profits are used to pay for the services provided by that non-profit. Those funds are often crucial to keeping the non-profit in business as they can also be used for overhead and to pay the staff who work there. This is often an incredibly important source of funding for these organizations.
- You lower your tax bill. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not look at charitable clothing donations as being any different from a monetary donation. When you have donations that are valued at more than $250, you will have to include some documentation from the non-profit to show what you donated and how much they deemed it as being worth. So, rather than taking up space in your home, you can lower your tax bill and help someone else at the same time.
- You help the environment. It has been estimated that about 12 million tons of clothing and textile waste is sent to landfills around the country every year. The typical American will throw away about 82 pounds of clothing and textiles each year. When you send your clothing to the landfill, even organic materials are not able to break down the way they should. Without access to the right amount of oxygen, these fabrics undergo an anaerobic break down and the result is the emission of greenhouse gasses that contribute to global warming. By making charitable clothing donations, your used clothing can avoid this fate and instead be used to help people.
- You inspire others to give back. Research shows that when people see someone else doing a good deed, they are inspired to do something good as well. So you will inspire some people, who will do good deeds and those will inspire other people. It is like the old shampoo commercial, “You tell two friends and they tell two friends and so on and so on…”
When you want to give back to your community, you have a lot of options. Making charitable clothing donations is one really great way to help people who need it.