Most of us like the idea of giving back to our communities. We like the idea of helping families in need. If you feel that way but do not have any extra money to give or time to volunteer, you probably have items and clothing that you no longer use. You can help people by making item and clothing donations for non profits organizations. Many people do this already. An estimated $5.8 billion in clothing related donations made their way to American charities in 2007. It could not be easier as there are even charities that will pick up donations.
- It will make you feel better about yourself. When you give of yourself and help others, it makes you feel better about yourself and improves your self esteem. It can be very fulfilling and there are even chemical reasons. Doing good things for other people impacts the pleasure center of the brain. Endorphins are serotonin. These neurotransmitter make you feel good.
- It will help your karma. You may or may not have been a fan of the show, “My Name is Earl” but the sit com was onto something. Earl’s main line is, “Do good things and good things happen.” There is even scientific research that backs this up. Researchers have proven that when people do good things like donating clothing to charity, good things will happen to them later on.
- People will start to look up to you. Few things improve your standing in your community like giving back and helping other people. When your peers see you doing this, they will have more respect for you and gain you the respect of the organizations to which you donate and the people who are helped by them.
- You can inspire others to give back, too. When you call one of the charities that will pick up donations, people will see what you are doing. People are influenced by what they see the people around them doing. Studies have been done on behavior and people really do pay attention to what the people are doing around them and are more inclined to donate.
- You will become healthier. Research done at a number of universities has found that people who give stuff or time to charities are healthier. Their blood pressure is lower and so is their stress level. Long term conditions are more easily managed and they have less heart disease. This could be because of the release of those neurotransmitters or maybe it is because people who give back on a regular basis sleep better at night, the bottom line is that people who donate their belongings are healthier overall.
- You help the environment. Every year, Americans toss nearly 12 million tons of textiles and clothing. All of this ends up in landfills where it takes up valuable real estate and contributes to global warming. Of all the clothes that are donated to charity, 80% is given to the needy or used to help with funding. By helping others in this way, you can also reduce your carbon footprint.
- You will get a cleaner closet. Organizing experts say that if you have not worn an item for two full seasons, you should get rid of it. Go through your closet and get rid of the clothes that you will never wear again. Holding onto your “fat clothes” may lead to gaining weight. If you have kids and they have grown out of their clothes, winter coats are always great donations, give everything you cannot use.
- You can write off your clothing donations on your taxes. The Internal Revenue Service sees donations of clothing or items as the same as a monetary donation.Take detailed notes when you donate. If you make and will claim donations over $250, you will need some documentation from the charity to whom you donated.
- Improve morale at work. You can organize a group donation. Have your coworkers bring their clothing to work. Call one of the charities that will pick up donations and arrange a date and time for them to come gather what everyone has brought in.
By working with one of the charities that will pick up donations, you can make a big difference for a lot of people.