The American people are generous. We like to give back to our communities and help people in need. Each year, at least 70% of the people in the United States donate to charity. In turn American non-profits give back. Each year, American non-profits return at least $666.1 billion to the U.S. economy. If you would like to donate something but do not know what and cannot give money, you may donate clothes to a local charity and really help people in need.
- It is good for the environment. Americans throw away about ten pounds of clothing per person every year. This is according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These clothes that are thrown away find their way into landfills around the country where they contribute to global warming. When you donate clothes, not only are you getting to give back to the community but you are preventing those items from ending up in a landfill where they will do no one any goof.
- People can use the clothes immediately. In the wake of many disasters, people often will lose everything they own but the very shirt they are wearing on their backs. When a natural disaster strikes, yes, relief agencies do need money but the people who we impacted and hurt by the storm, earthquake or whatever happened also need clothing. When you donate clothes that are in reasonable condition, they can be used almost immediately by people who have lost everything. This is especially important for families in need. These are times when making used clothing donations is just about as important and helpful as sending cash.
- You can get a tax write off. Just like cash donations can be taken off of your taxes, so too can clothing donations. Some estimate that a man’s coat will be worth $60 to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Keep track of what you donate. Any donations over $250 need to be attached to some documentation from the non-profit to whom you gave your items. You do not even need to itemize your full return to get the benefit of donating to charity.
- You will feel more connected to your community. When you make any kind of donation to charity, you strengthen your ties to your community. Donate clothes and you will feel better about the area in which you live. Research has shown that people who make donations such as this are healthier and happier overall. Other research shows that if you donate clothing (or anything), at some point, you will be rewarded by the universe. It may not happen the day you do it but if you give, you will at some point get back.
- You will clean out your closet. Organizational experts say you should go through your closet several times a year and get rid of the clothing that you no longer wear. If you live in a place with seasons, you should go through your clothing and ask “have I worn this the last two seasons?” If your answer is no, you should take those items to a clothing donation center. The same can be said if you have lost weight. Keeping your “fat clothes” around will only lead to you gaining the weight back. Also, once your children have grown out of their clothing, donate it! If you have their older winter coats and jackets, those are always needed by families. Just because you no longer like the dress or shirt does not mean someone else will not be able to use it. When you donate clothes because of this, you get a neat closet and the non-profit gets good clothing.
Giving back to the community has a host of health and other benefits that come along with it. People who volunteer their time are known to experience what is often called the “helper’s high.” Researchers at multiple universities have noticed health benefits from donating money, items or time to a cause or charity. No matter how you slice or why you do it, giving back to your community is good for you and your health. If you are not sure what you can give, donate clothes. Most of us have some we can get rid of.