This winter has been one of the most bitter cold years in recent memory and with more people than ever out of work, keeping warm has become a real problem for people around the world. With such a world wide problem, you may wonder how you can make a difference…it’s quite simple. Donate your gently used winter clothes and not only will you clear up some clutter and possibly save someone’s life.
I’m lucky enough to be sitting in my warm kitchen with a blanket around my snugglie pajamas watching the snow fall outside. As peaceful of a scene as it is, it brings to mind worries about the elderly and homeless who may not be as warm as I am privileged to be. With wind chills in the negatives here recently, over-exposure and hypothermia are not only worries for those of us just running around with our kids outside today, but could mean death to those who are living on the streets.
With donations at an all-time low, many charities are in desperate need of winter clothes. Up to 40 percent of homeless adults are veterans, with more joining their ranks from the Iraqi and Afghanistan wars…shouldn’t we be supporting them now that they are home? Why not spend a few hours this weekend cleaning out your closets (don’t forget the kiddos)? You can always drop them off on your way to work Monday or the next time your headed out to run errands.
- Go through each of your closets and remove any clothes you haven’t worn in over a year or that don’t fit anymore. Let’s face it, if you haven’t lost the weight or worn the outfit chances are pretty good that you aren’t going to.
- Gather all of your unmatched socks and gloves. Shelters and charities will pair them up and hand out to those who need them.
- Coats, winter hats, gloves, scarf, and ear muffs are needed badly at this time as well as any blankets you may no longer need.
- Don’t forget to collect all of the shoes you and your family have out grown (physically and trend-wise), there are many people out there who would love need to have a new pair of shoes.
- *Make sure all of the clothing are undamaged and have been washed in a Free and Clear detergent…that is a detergent without any colors or fragrances. *
- Check all clothing for tears or holes, do not donate clothing with holes or tears.
- Be sure to read over all of Goodwill’s guidelines for proper donation before dropping off anything. These guidelines are smart for everyone to follow no matter where they plan to donate.
Aside from the Salvation Army and Goodwill, local shelters, hospitals, schools, and churches are also in particular need of these winter weather supplies. Of course, call ahead first before dropping anything off. They will appreciate the heads up and you’ll be able to make an informed decision concerning their greatest needs.
January is widely-held as the coldest month of the year, so why not take a few moments today and help someone less fortunate than yourself stay warm. Any random night could find anywhere from 700,000 to 2 million people are go homeless (this statistic from around 2000, since then there is an estimated 500,000-1 million additional people on the streets.) If you were already without a roof over your heads (and your children), the last thing you need is to also be at risk of freezing. I hope you’ll join me this month and donate your gently used winter clothing to a donation center near you.