People in the United States are generous. Not only do people around the country donate money and time, we also give the items that we can no longer use. Making used clothing donations is one way that we do things such as provide support for support for military families and help other people in need. It has been estimated that in 2007, about $5.8 billion was donated to charities around the country that were used clothing donations. There are a lot of good things you do when you make this kind of donation.
- You help people directly. The United States has some of the most volatile weather on the planet. We see hurricanes, tornadoes, and blizzards. Moreover, people in the nation have to also contend with wildfires and earthquakes. When one of these disasters strikes, people are often left with nothing but the clothing they were wearing. That means they need clothing right away. Making clothing donations can get people what they need when they need it.
- You help people afford to clothe their family. Many people around the nation have a hard time paying for the clothing their family needs. They can afford to go to the local consignment shop and get their clothing there. Your clothing donations supply the product that becomes someone else’s wardrobe. That means they can get the items they need at a price they can afford.
- You help nonprofits stay open. Many charities, such as those that provide support for military families, rely on the income they get from their consignment shops. People buy a lot of used clothing. The average American buys about 10 pounds of clothing that were previously owned every year. The money that is brought in by those sales helps the charities provide support for military families and others who need it.
- You help the planet. Many of the clothing items we use are biodegradable but something happens when these items find themselves in a landfill. They are piled on by other trash and their access to oxygen is limited. As a consequence, the way they degrade chemically is changed. When these materials degrade through an anaerobic process, the result is the creation of greenhouse gases. When you donate those items to charity, you prevent that. Your charitable clothing donations help people and do not get a chance to increase global warming.
- You help yourself. When you do things to help charities that provide support for military families, those that help the homeless or nonprofits that help animals, you make yourself happier. People who give to others report being happier overall. When people donate their time, they experience what is called the “helper’s high.” Scientists have found that generosity leads to better health and a great sense of well-being.
- You help your closet. Decades ago, the typical American woman had seven outfits in her closet. The average American woman today has about 30. Most of us have clothes in our closet that we know we are never going to wear again. Moreover, if we have children, we may have clothing that they are never going to wear again and that we cannot pass down. These items are doing no one any good but they could be great for others if we donate them. So, by donating these items, we can get a more organized home out of the deal.
- You help your tax bill. The Internal Revenue Service does not differentiate between making a donation of cash to a charity from a donation of clothing. That means whatever you donate to charity can be deducted from your taxes. You should keep records of all of your donations so that you can include them with the paperwork you send to the Internal Revenue Service. This is a mandatory thing if you give something that is worth more than $250 but you should be safe and save all of your receipts.
There are a lot of ways to help charities that help people in need and provide support for military families. When you make donations of your used clothing to charities, you do a lot more good than you may think, for yourself and others.