Americans are generous people. It has been estimated that about 94.5% of people in the United States do something to give back to their communities. Whether is is by donating to a military support group or one that is devoted to helping families in need, people like to be a part of something bigger than themselves. The problem is that many people want to help others but they find that they do not have the money to donate, nor do they have enough time to volunteer. One thing that most of us do have is an abundance of stuff. When it comes to clothing, the amount we have today is much greater than what we had in times gone by. For instance, the typical woman in America had only nine outfits in 1930. Take that same woman and look at her closet today and you will see an outfit for every day of the month. There are a lot of ways donating clothing to charity helps the people in your community. Here are just a few reasons to go this route:
- You can give people what they need immediately. When there is a major natural disaster such as fire, earthquake or hurricane, often people are left with absolutely nothing. When people are forced to flee from a fire, for instance, they have nothing but the clothes on their back. While many organizations say that they really want cash, there are some that will take items. In some ways, clothing can be more useful because people need changes of clothes right away. Given that the United States has the most volatile weather on the planet, giving clothing is often something many people need.
- You can help charities stay open. The charities that do things like run programs for military support or to help others in the community also run consignment shops. They get their merchandise from clothing donations. In the United States, it has been estimated that about 80% of the clothing that is taken in by charities is then sold in their stores to be sold or given away. The money they make from selling clothing makes up a lot of their budgets. They use that to run the good programs to help locals and to keep their doors open. Many would not be able to survive without these donations.
- You help parents buy clothing for their children. Buying clothing at retail outlets can be very expensive. When parents need to buy clothing for themselves and their children, many look to consignment and thrift shops to buy what they need. The clothing that is offered in these locations is reasonably priced and allows them to get what they need to clothe their families. Without donations from the general public, that would not be possible.
- You help the planet. Every year, the typical person in the United States will send 80 pounds of textiles to landfills. Even if the clothing and other textiles are made from materials than can be broken down, they will not be when they are in a landfill. The problem is that the organisms that break down cotton and other natural fabrics need oxygen to do that. When that is not present, the mechanisms that are there to break down the trash rely on anaerobic processes. These processes also put out the same greenhouse gasses that are responsible for global warming. By donating items that would otherwise go to the landfills, you are doing a lot to deal with global warming. Also when you donate an item, say a shirt, that shirt can be worn by someone else. When it is sent to a landfill, it is lost and another shirt needs to be made requiring resources be used for that. This is very wasteful.
There are a great number of reasons people like to give to charities and back to their communities. Most of us feel we should offer military support to thank the people who have protected us. One easy way to give that military support is to make donations of items and clothing to local charities that help families of veterans and others get what they need.