Where Should you Donate Clothes?


The American Red Cross is one of the largest charities in the United States. By private donations, it ranked 13th largest in the country in 2014, receiving almost $700 million from private donations. However, when most people think of the Red Cross, they think of blood services. That makes sense, since the Red Cross is famous for its blood drives, but, among other things, you can donate clothes to Red Cross as well.

How big is the clothing problem in the United States?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the average American individual throws away ten pounds of clothing every year. With well over 300 million people in the United States, that\’s billions of pounds of clothing simply being put in landfills. Americans also averaged about one piece of clothing purchased per week over the course of the year.

While that level of consumerism is troubling, it\’s important to do something beyond throwing away the clothing that you\’re no longer using. Why not donate clothes to Red Cross? Regardless of whether you donate clothes to Red Cross or a different charity, the value of the items you donate is tax deductible, which is music to the ears of anyone who has to pay taxes in April (which, of course, is everybody).

Through programs like Red Cross or Planet Aid — or you can look up the local version of these nationwide programs — millions of people in need end up with clothing. American donations add up to an estimated 14 million tons of clothes to underserved areas in an average year.

While the numbers are staggering in scale, the fact is that giving is good for everyone. Donors get tax deductions, but they also get the satisfaction of doing something to help those in need. Over 60% of high-income donors say that their motivation for giving is simply to give back to the community. On the other side, people who can\’t afford clothing or need shelter are able to be matched up with a company that will look out for them.

Red Cross is not alone, of course. As mentioned, you can donate clothes to Red Cross by way of a Red Cross donation center, but there are other options as well. Used clothing donations are often accepted at clothing donation centers all around the country. The best way to find where to donate clothing is probably a simple Google search. Furthermore, if you\’re unable to take your excess clothes somewhere, many companies will come pick them up free of charge.