does it matter where you donate old clothes? - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-12-2006, 12:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have way too many boxes of clothes and shoes that my kids have outgrown. I need to get them out of the house, but I can't decide how. I want to make sure they'll stand a good chance of being used; I have heard stories about charities just throwing away clothes, and that breaks my heart.

Any ideas?
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Old 02-12-2006, 01:03 AM
 
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I usually just donate to Goodwill, but I guess I never thought about if they ever actually got used. If they are children's items, maybe donate directly to a women's shelter? I'm thinking that it might be better to donate to an agency that directly gives items to people in need, rather than one who runs a thrift shop and sells the items.

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Old 02-12-2006, 01:07 AM
 
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ohhh... save them for a bit and do a swap party?

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Old 02-12-2006, 01:09 AM
 
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As well.... before friends in the neighbourhood donate clothes they usually let me peek through it. You could let a friend in your size check through the bag. That way the best items are sure to be enjoyed.

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Old 02-12-2006, 01:18 AM
 
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I saw an eye-opening segment on Dateline or something about clothing donations. Will try and make a long story short: The best goes to Goodwill, the rest (most) gets sold to private companies who bundle it, ship it to India and Africa, and re-sell in the markets for 3x what they bought it. The people there buy it 'cause it's American.

I donate everything to a charity a local church recommended, for low-income moms and kids.

I always suggest calling a local church and asking for a recommendation! There are always families in need, who could use it for free.

IMO, Goodwill is too expensive for some of these folks!
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Old 02-12-2006, 03:50 PM
 
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I used to donate to Goodwill, but like you, wanted to make sure the stuff would get used. Now I donate to a local women's shelter and know that the items will amost certainly be used.

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Old 02-13-2006, 06:10 AM
 
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You can ask at a local consignment shop which charity they donate to. They will let you know the details about that charity.

Check out the Pregnancy Resource Center. (Type in those words and your city or county for a google search). My local one has a very long list of places needy moms and families can go for help. Among them are several that give out clothing or even small household appliances.
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Old 02-13-2006, 01:44 PM
 
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I take it to the women's shelter or to St. Vincents, I rarely donate to Goodwill anymore.
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Old 02-14-2006, 02:45 AM
 
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i really like st vincent de paul, too.
i find there prices are very reasonable, and they have voucher programs for families in need, where they bring in their voucher and get needed items (clothing for the family, food, etc)
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Old 02-14-2006, 02:55 AM
 
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Freecycle anyone???

I do not like to donate to Goodwill. I rather a few other local non-profit places in my area.

Do you have some sort of crisis pregnancy center there? We have one here, they 'give' the clothing to mothers in need. (well after having them participate in some sort of self-betterment {is that a word?}, parenting videos, ect.)
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Old 02-14-2006, 05:57 AM
 
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OK - someone please advise - why is Goodwill so bad? Don't they at least do job training and such? If they only cull the best of the donations for themselves and further donate the rest - why is that bad? Why would they want to put things on their shelves that they know will not sell? Then people would shop there less...
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Old 02-14-2006, 04:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by our3boys
OK - someone please advise - why is Goodwill so bad? Don't they at least do job training and such? If they only cull the best of the donations for themselves and further donate the rest - why is that bad? Why would they want to put things on their shelves that they know will not sell? Then people would shop there less...
I cannot speak for others. My reasoning behind it is..
We have two Goodwills in my town. I go to both. (they do have great prices for kids clothing )
I have seen at both of them the exact same items, yet, they will have two different prices... one will be $5 and the other will be $12.. wtf?
All the clothing is same prices no matter the size... but like the housewear items.... what a joke!!! They will ask brand new prices for an item that is obviously not brand new!


Just makes no sense to me!

Not to mention, I would rather donate to a place that would give to someone in need.. not turn and make a profit with the item(s)
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Old 02-15-2006, 01:32 AM
 
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Because my family's budget is very tight, I will be taking old clothes to a thrift store that offers store credit for the things you bring to them (as long as they want them/they are in good condition). I love to shop in their store when we have some money (like now with tax returns!), so I know I will be able to use the store credit. That's something you could do if you have a tight budget. Otherwise, I would totally recommend donating to a women's shelter as others have suggested. There are women and children of all shapes and sizes who need to get back on their feet from previous difficulties. So, the items would certainly be used eventually!

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Old 02-15-2006, 02:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by our3boys
OK - someone please advise - why is Goodwill so bad? Don't they at least do job training and such? If they only cull the best of the donations for themselves and further donate the rest - why is that bad? Why would they want to put things on their shelves that they know will not sell? Then people would shop there less...
because they don't just donate the stuff they won't sell. They sell it to private sellers, who then sell it overseas in poor communities for 3x what they bought it for. they become millionaires off these poor people, who buy this crap because it's American and says Coca Cola or something on it. It's awful. What they do in thier stores is good, yes, but.... after that. It's a non-profit, large corporation, so there is a bottom line to watch, even for them.
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Old 02-19-2006, 05:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for the responses.

Though part of me is in a "get it out of the house NOW" mode, I am going to try to donate to shelters instead. I was able to do this with some things over the holidays, and I was happy to see things go to people who really needed them.

Decluttering will take some time, but we're planning to be in this house for the next 15 years (though that thought makes me ill), so I have lots of that.
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Old 02-20-2006, 05:15 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cynotgirl
because they don't just donate the stuff they won't sell. They sell it to private sellers, who then sell it overseas in poor communities for 3x what they bought it for. they become millionaires off these poor people, who buy this crap because it's American and says Coca Cola or something on it. It's awful. What they do in thier stores is good, yes, but.... after that. It's a non-profit, large corporation, so there is a bottom line to watch, even for them.
OK - so I am here trying to figure this out. If someone buys it here and takes it overseas to sell it for 3x what they paid for it...

1/3 is their acquisition cost
2/3 left

Of that 2/3, how much is eaten up by shipping? What percentage do they have to discard b/c it is not wearable/usable (and what IS sold has to make up for these items)? What is their cost for disposal? (Assuming it is not "left on the side of the road".) What other costs of doing business affect the bottom line?

Yes, I am guessing that they ARE making money, O/W they would not be buying the stuff and reselling it. But now that family (or families) has an opportunity to make a living. Jobs are created.

Anyway, I think Value Village has got to be worse than Goodwill. They are much more expensive and they buy their stuff by the pound from a charitable organization. Other than that, I *think* they are a for-profit organization. But they have the best stuff and so when it comes to my time...

For some reason, I do have a problem just packing everything up and donating it. I can't seem to let myself do it and instead end up delivering it to so many different places - wherever I think it might do the most good. It sure would be a lot easier and cheaper for me to make one trip (or 5, or...) to the same place. The stores will take donations during their open hours or will come by with a truck. I have a hard time meeting up with other smaller places that give (not sell) directly to the needy and the piles are cluttering up my house waiting to be delivered (with my children in tow, pushing a stroller...)
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Old 02-21-2006, 12:42 PM
 
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Ok- I have a question about this too. What should I do with baby items that are stained? I have some baby shirts that have food stains on the collar. I certainly don't want to offend a shelter or the people in it. should I just turn them into rags or do you think some folks wouldn't mind? What about adult clothes that have rips?

TIA!
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Old 02-21-2006, 01:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2sweetbabes
Ok- I have a question about this too. What should I do with baby items that are stained? I have some baby shirts that have food stains on the collar. I certainly don't want to offend a shelter or the people in it. should I just turn them into rags or do you think some folks wouldn't mind? What about adult clothes that have rips?

TIA!
Get some fiber reactive dyes, dye them all darker colors, and sell them in a garage sale for a fortune!!!! For some time, I was buying up stained baby clothes at garage sales for like 10 cents each, dying them, and giving them as gifts. People loved them!!!!! I am not in the business of reselling them, I just buy cheap, dye, use, or gift. Even patterned clothing can be dyed with the darker colors for a cool effect. That is also what i do with our own clothing that gets stained but it still usable and in style.
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Old 02-23-2006, 01:46 AM
 
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great thread....i did not realize that about goodwill..i'll definitely be looking elsewhere to donate my stuff now.....
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Old 07-05-2006, 05:39 AM
 
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Do you have freecycle in you area?
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Old 07-05-2006, 10:26 AM
 
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I donate my women sizes to women losing weight at my weight loss board.

Everything else goes to the Free Store run by a Methodist church in town that serves low-income folks. I do make donations to GW as well, mainly out of convenience as we have one right across the street.
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Old 07-06-2006, 12:29 PM
 
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I take children's clothing to the consignment store (they give store credit or cash), but I keep the things that I really like for future babies.
Clothes that DH and I aren't using anymore go to freecycle. I think Goodwill overcharges on their adult & older kid clothing. Baby stuff up to 24 mos. is 99 a piece and I've gotten a lot of great stuff there, so that's a good deal.

It's cheaper for me to buy things for my 4 year old at the consignment store and they've already combed them over for stains, etc. and the items are usually much nicer; so obviously it benefits us to sell there, but it also helps other low income families as well because it's such a bargain!

Like a pp said, a lot of families can't afford Goodwill

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