People in the United States can be very generous. Around the nation, there are often stories of complete strangers coming to the assistance of others when they see there is a need. There are a lot of people who do not have a lot of money to donate, nor can they give a lot of time to volunteer for a worthy organization. For those people, the best way to give back is to give their used clothing and household items to a Red Cross donation center. Not everyone knows how many ways those donations can be used to help people all over the country. Here are some ways you help others when you donate clothes to Red Cross:
- People who need a hand-up. Despite the growth in the economy, a number of people and families are not feeling the relief. It is estimated that, in January 2015, nearly 565 thousand people were considered to be homeless on any given night. When you give to a Red Cross donation center, you make it possible for these families, and others who are living around the poverty line, afford to clothe everyone in the family. Some of the clothes are donated directly to people in need. The other used clothing donations are sold in the consignment shops, allowing people with little money to get the items they need.
- People who have been impacted by a natural disaster. The United States suffers from some of the worst weather on the planet. The country sees hurricanes, blizzards, and tornadoes. In addition to those threats, we have wildfires and earthquakes. Often when disaster strikes, people are left with only the clothing on their backs. When you donate used clothing, you are giving people things they need right away.
- You help keep the center open. Like other non-profit organizations, the Red Cross runs a number of consignment shops where they sell the clothing that has been given. These sales help the Red Cross donation center do the important work they do. Many non-profits could not keep their doors open without the revenue they take in from these consignment shops.
- You help strengthen the community. Studies show that when people look out for each other in a community, they build bonds that make the city or locality a better place for everyone to live. Humans are social creatures. By providing a space where people help each other and lend a hand when that is needed, a better, healthier, and happier place to live is created for all residents.
- You inspire other people to do good for others. There is an old shampoo commercial that says, “If you tell two friends, they will tell two friends, and so on and so on…” When you give to Red Cross donation centers, other people around you will see the good you are doing and may be inspired to do some good on their own. Then they do something good for someone else, other people see that, and they may also be inspired.
- You help the environment. When you throw clothing away, it ends up in a landfill. People in the United States throw away about 10 pounds (per person) each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. When all of this material ends up in landfills, it creates greenhouse gas that causes climate change. When deprived of oxygen, materials that can decompose organically disintegrate another way. Without oxygen, the process is anaerobic and the greenhouse gases are released. When you donate used clothing, other people can use it and it will not go to fill up a landfill.
There is saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Nowhere is this more true than when you make clothing donations. Giving to Red Cross donation centers also can help you lower your tax bill as the Internal Revenue Service views donations of items the same as it views donations of money. It may not seem like it but when you take the time to donate your used clothing, items, and furniture to charity, there are a great number of ways you can help save the world.