Written by: Katie Conroy
Are you thinking of putting together a clothing drive in your community? Collecting gently-used clothing is a great way to help people in need, but you have to keep a few things in mind if you want your project to be successful and stress-free. Before you start filling those boxes, be sure to read through these handy organizing tips from Small Small Business.
Pick a Local Charity to Work With
By hosting a clothing drive, you are already doing your part in the second hand economy. Encouraging folks to donate their unwanted clothing rather than discard it helps reduce the amount of solid waste in landfills while helping to curb pollution. To make sure your good intentions reach those who are truly in need, you may want to connect with a local charity that could really use the items you collect.
There are several non-profits that accept donations, so you can choose to work with a large group, like the Salvation Army, or connect with a more specialized charity, such as Dress for Success. Speaking with non-profit staff members will give you a better idea of the clothing that can be donated, and may also provide some additional tips for making your drive successful.
Decide What Kinds of Items to Collect
You could certainly put out a call for all unwanted clothing, but that could leave you feeling overwhelmed. If you already completed the step above and are working with a specific organization, you can probably narrow down your collection efforts. For example, if you want to help out your local Dress for Success, you may want to work on gathering gently-used business clothing and shoes.
If your project focuses more on helping the homeless, you may need to adjust your goals during the colder months. Homeless shelters tend to ask for items like socks, backpacks and gently-used coats in order to better assist the homeless populations in their communities.
Create Achievable Goals for Your Drive
If you want your campaign to be a success, you need to figure out what success will look like. Helping others is a wonderful feeling, so you may be tempted to set high goals for your clothing drive. But you will feel better if you can actually attain your charitable goals without creating more stress for yourself.
For example, maybe you’ll choose to collect 5 boxes of dresses for your local formal wear charity or gather enough back-to-school clothing to help out a single family in your community. Begin with these small but meaningful goals, and then you can dream bigger with your future giving projects.
Have Somewhere to Store Those Donations
With enough planning, effort and marketing, you are likely to end up with quite a collection of clothing donations, so make sure you have somewhere to keep it all clean and safe. Although donated clothing should always be washed, some people may donate items that could attract moths and other pests.
Likewise, if you’re storing them in a shed, garage, or basement, you have to watch out for mice. To make sure they don’t nest in the clothing, search Angi for “mice control near me” and compare ratings and reviews. Additionally, to keep bugs from ruining all of your hard work, pick up a few plastic bins with lids, and keep them tightly shut until you can drop off donations.
If you are running out of room in your home, you could also consider renting a storage unit that features climate control to hold donations until the end of your campaign. When you are ready to stop collecting items, make a drop-off appointment with the non-profit of your choice, and be sure to enlist volunteers to help you lift those heavy boxes.
By being willing to donate your time and effort to a clothing drive, you are already taking some major steps toward helping your community thrive. Clothing is a blessing for those in need, whether because it helps them get a new job or simply provides protection from the elements. So, thank you for doing your part to provide this necessity, and for providing comfort to people who are most in need within your local community.
At Small Small Business, we love working directly with entrepreneurs, small businesses and nonprofits; and we love partnering with other individuals and organizations who have this same passion. To learn more, contact us today!
About the author:
Katie Conroy is the creator of Advice Mine. She enjoys writing about lifestyle topics and created the website to share advice she has learned through experience, education, and research.