Charitable actions lay at the heart of human morality; there is nothing more benevolent than an individual giving of themselves to someone in need. Unfortunately, with near-historic unemployment rates across the country and an increasing number of individuals in need, the call for clothing donations and other charitable acts has never been so great. Although many Americans choose to give more to charities during the holidays there is no season for need; for this reason many people are now donating clothing to charity all year round.
Why Donate to Charity?
Every year in our country approximately 10.5 million tons of clothing arrive in landfills. The average American household actually only recycles or donates around 15% of their used clothing — in reality nearly 100% of household textiles and clothing can be recycled regardless of quality of condition. Nearly half of all clothing articles that are donated to charity are used as second-hand clothing for families in need including the homeless, military veterans, and others struggling to get by. In addition to donating clothing to charity, many individuals are volunteering their time to charitable donations that clothe, feed, and care for needy members of the community — through charitable action everyone can contribute to create a more friendly, helpful community.
What to Give
As stated earlier, nearly all manner of textiles can be recycled and utilized in some way — yet many Americans are still unsure of what to donate to charities. For those who live in a one or two season climate, it is recommended that if an article of clothing has not been worn in the last six months it may be time to let it go on to someone who may get more use out of it. Many expert donors make a habit out of using their closet space to distinguish between frequently worn and rarely worn articles of clothing; by keeping track of what you wear, many Americans are able to make yearly donations to help others. Thanks to the combined efforts of millions of Americans in 2006 nearly 2.5 billion pounds of fabrics were kept from landfills — on average around 4.7 billion pounds of clothing are donated to charities in America every year.
Where to Give
Although it may be tempting for one to simply drop off their donations at the nearest drop-off location, it may be beneficial for donors to do their homework and determine how their donations will best be used. Smart donors typically only support charitable groups that are granted tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code. These charities can also greatly benefit the donor in the form of a significant tax write off. Any charitable donation worth more than $250 will require a written receipt so that it may be counted as a tax write off. When donating clothing to charity it may be best to determine what percentage of the proceeds will be going back to the local community; the media has recently exposed a number of unfortunate circumstances where charities committed less than charitable profiteering — always ensure that your donations are truly benefiting those in need and not those with greed.
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