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Don’t Hate, Donate!

Organizing clothing donations for Hurricane Katrina victims.

Organizing clothing donations for Hurricane Katrina victims.

            Everyone wonders why teenagers are so difficult to handle. Maybe it is because they don’t have the latest cell phone, the newest John Mayer album downloaded on their iPod, or mom refused to buy the expensive pair of sneakers that everyone at school is wearing. The concept of socialization drains money out of our wallets like Niagara Falls. So what’s the trick to keeping your teen happy and a padlock on your wallet? Donating of course!

            The Council for Textile Recycling states the average family can produce about 4-10 bags of no longer worn clothes every year. Just look in your teen’s closet for the clothes that are “so last month.” These clothes can be donated and tax deducted, meaning money… well it doesn’t go back into your wallet, but less is taken out from taxes! In 2003, taxpayers deducted $5.8 billion alone from donating clothes. Every year about 8.75 billion pounds of post-consumer textiles gets chucked in the trash because people think they can’t be reused. Think again!

  • 8.75 billion pounds thrown out textiles
  •         4.13 billion pounds recovered
  •                    2.15 billion pounds recycled as secondhand clothing
  •                    1.12 billion pounds converted into fibers
  •                     860 million pounds becomes wiping and polishing clothes

            Companies like The Salvation Army and Goodwill are great places to donate. They take used items like clothing, appliances, electronics, and furniture, and sell them in their retail stores, where 100% of the proceeds go to charity. Around the holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving, the media loves to promote the good cause of donating in order to inspire the public to help those less fortunate. During the regular year, however, the media mostly portrays the scams associated with donating. This is partially because:

  • Media looks good reporting on charities.
  • Viewers love drama.
  • Viewers may get motivated to donate.

So how do we motivate everyone to donate no matter what time of the year it is? I haven’t figured it out yet, but I’m starting by spreading the word.

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