As summer comes to a close, we pack up our swimsuits and flip-flops and pull out the sweaters and boots that were just a cold distant memory a month ago. With every seasonal transition we find ourselves swapping these items in and out of our visible closets, but when do we actually sift through them and pull out the dresses and shoes we unpack and repack every year that haven’t made it out into the sun during their 6 month wearable window. Instead of packing them away for another winter of being unworn under the bed, take the time to clear out the clutter and help those in need.

When it comes to donating clothes there are usually two questions, “Where should I donate” and “Can I get money for these?”. There are plenty of places that would be more than happy to accept your donations although it’s important to check their online guidelines before dropping off anything or scheduling a pickup to make sure what you’re donating is appropriate for the charity. As a rule of thumb, while sifting through piles of old t-shirts and items that just aren’t for you; Look for clothing that still remains intact. If it’s missing buttons, ripped (but not intentionally), fray- ing, stained or just severely outdated put it in a separate pile.

There’s nothing better than a little “getting back” with your “giving back”.

While brainstorming places to take your donations there are a few “oldie-but-goodies” that may come to mind like The Salvation Army and Goodwill. Both are excellent choices. If you’re concerned about tax-deductions, The Salvation Army’s website has a comprehensive list of cloth- ing and its estimated taxable worth on their website. Goodwill on the other hand has a great drop-down list on their site that allows you to enter the belongings you wish to donate and details how those donations will positively impact lives of those they help. Regardless of which avenue you might decide upon you should always get a receipt for your donations because there’s nothing better than a little “getting back” with your “giving back”.

If you’re a woman with office attire that you won’t wear next season, you can consider donating to Dress for Success. With locations throughout Pennsylvania, Dress for Success has a goal to provide women the condense to interview for employment and remain employed. DFS Clients receive one suit for a job interview and can return for a second suit or separates when they find employment. More information can be found on their website.

It’s always best to call ahead and ensure they take used clothing donations.

If you like the idea of Dress for Success but would like a place that accepts men’s work attire, look no further than Career Wardrobe in Philadelphia. They not only give job seekers the ability to show a presentable and professional appearance at interviews; they also offer education courses to help men and women become more knowledgeable on applying for jobs and retaining employment.

Easton’s Salvation Army profits are used to supply food for feeding the homeless breakfast and lunch daily.

While you may feel inclined to donate to your local women’s and children’s or men’s shelters, it’s always best to call ahead and ensure they take used clothing donations. For example, a quick call to Third Street Alliance for Women and Children of Easton resulted in a helpful talk with a receptionist. She informed me that while they don’t accept used clothing due to storage concerns, they personally suggest donating to the Salvation Army. Easton’s Salvation Army profits are used to supply food for feeding the homeless breakfast and lunch daily.

Additionally, if you’re in the Philadelphia area and in need of a place for gently used children’s clothing consider Cradles to Crayons. They have a comprehensive list of accepted donations on their website which include other items such as diaper bags, baby carriers and bibs. Similarly, Pregnancy Resource Center of the Poconos takes baby clothing donations and gently used maternity clothing. If those aren’t near you then Life Choices in Phillipsburg, New Jersey (just outside Easton and closer to our New Jersey readers) accepts the same types of items.

Making a contribution that helps your local community may have more benefit than the risk of your good intentions being boxed and placed aside.

You may be wondering why there wasn’t mention of donating to disaster relief funds such as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma? Multiple news reports have shown that the most useful and resourceful contributions during disasters such as these are monetary donations. Unfortunately, relief organizations end up with entire warehouses filled with clothing, blankets and toys that do not meet their specific relief needs. Those who work to organize and distribute donations are over- whelmed by the sheer amount of items received and while the gesture is undeniably appreciated, it unfortunately slows down the relief process significantly. Making a contribution that helps your local community may have more benefit than the risk of your good intentions being boxed and placed aside. All donations efforts are great but research prior to execution is a wonderful place to start and with finishing this article you’re already a step ahead!

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