If you’re cleaning out the garage, hopefully you’ve thought about how all those unused toys and the clothes the kids have outgrown might be useful to someone in need. Some of the people who need your clothing donations the most are military families and veterans. Military charities are a great way to provide military support that benefits those individuals who have put their lives on the line for our country; and the families who love them.
Donate to Help Our Veterans
As of March 2013, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that 207,000 recent veterans were unemployed, and the unemployment rate for veterans in America is normally 2% higher than national average. There are a lot of reasons for this, but what it really means for you is that veterans and their families sometimes depend on military charities to make ends meet. Some military charities will be happy to arrange pick up from your home, and many will accept clothes, toys, electronics, sporting goods, pantry items, or home textiles. Donating your used goods to a military charity is one tangible way to give back to those who have given so much for our country.
Donate to Help The Environment
Only about 15% of used clothing and textiles in the United States are actually recovered. The rest goes to the landfills: about 12 million tons every year, or about 82 pounds of textile waste per American, per year. Not only does all this take up valuable landfill space, but it also creates greenhouse gases as the clothes and textiles slowly decompose. Your used clothing could instead be making a real difference. About 80% of clothing donations end up being used by military charities and other charities for the needy and for funding. That’s a whole lot better use for this stuff than leaving it rotting in landfills!
Donate to Help Yourself
Giving to charity not only helps others; it can also help you. Of course, there’s nothing like the feeling that you’ve done something useful and worthwhile in the life of another human being, or have made a decision that truly helps to preserve our natural environment for generations to come. But charitable donations can also be tax deductible, as well, which is a benefit you shouldn’t lightly dismiss. It’s not just donations of money that can be written off on taxes, either. Clothes and household items can also get a tax write off. A man’s suit, for example, can be claimed for as much as $60 if it’s in good shape, and a coffee maker can go for anything from $5 to $15. If any single item is worth more than $250, you’ll need a receipt, but donating is one easy way to make a dent in your own tax burden.
There are a lot of people who could really use those old clothes that are just cluttering up your closet or causing chaos in the dresser drawers. Find organizations that pick up donations and do some good for yourself, for others, and for the environment.