The Joy of Giving Back

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Loving the practical things in life, I find myself donating my clothes to the same place every time I clean out those closets.  I saw my latest pile and wondered, is there a better place or cause where I could donate my items. I feel like stuff accumulates so fast.  Maybe you are really good at selling your used items on e-bay or some other method. I have discovered I don’t have the patience for that. With raising a family and running a business, donating my belongings is a job I have come to enjoy.  

So at least a couple of times a year I end up de-cluttering and arranging bags and boxes to take to some place that will put those clothes to good use.  So what are you looking for when you donate?  Just a place to drop and have it out of the house or maybe there is a cause that pulls at your heart.  Maybe your preferred place sells the used items at a price that low income families can afford.  Or maybe your desire is more along the lines of the sales of the clothes goes for a cause that you believe in such as helping veterans receive counseling, hospital treatments, or for homeless or disabled veterans.  Maybe you would like those business clothes you just don’t wear to go to a man or woman that could use them for interviews so that their dreams can start to come become a reality.  Maybe you want your clothes to go to victims of natural disaster as they have already lost so much.

There are several places that you can donate.  Some require you to drop off, but some you can also schedule a pickup.  A few examples of places you can donate are the American Red Cross, Vietnam Veterans of America, The Salvation Army, Goodwill, Dress For Success, Career Gear, Big Brother Big Sister Foundation, and United Way.  Another way you can donate is locally.  A lot of churches have donation programs, community outreach centers, and homeless shelters.  Some of these options listed above are tax deductible, but not all are.  So it is important for you to know your overall all goals in the donation process. 

It is also good to note that not all organizations use donations appropriately or use a majority of the funds for their cause.  There are a couple of websites that can help you check to see how your particular charity is doing.  Some use stars or a grade system based on how much they are using the funds for their purpose.  www.charitywatch.org or www.charity navigator.org is a great place to start.

So if you are thinking about de-cluttering and want to see your unused items go to good use think about donating them.  You never know the difference you could be making in someone else’s life. And it might even bring a little smile to your face! 



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