Many of us are accustomed to passing on our unneeded clothing to be used by others. About 80% of charitable clothing donations are donated to the needy by organizations in the United States or sold to support their funding.
There are many organizations that accept clothing donations, and some even have a donation pickup service. It’s estimated that two million tons of clothing and textiles were recycled or donated to charity in the United States in the year 2011. But another 12 million tons is thrown out in the United States each year. And 90% of that could have been recycled or reused.
One group in particular that can benefit from charitable clothing donations is military families and veterans. The unemployment rate for veterans in the United States typically runs 2% higher than the overall national average. In 2012, it was 9.9%. And for those between the ages of 18 and 24, it was even worse at 20.4%. The next year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that an estimated 207,000 recent veterans could not find work during one particular month. And more than a quarter of military families are carrying credit card debt in excess of $10,000.
Charitable clothing donations can also help support organizations such as the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). It’s America’s oldest and biggest nationwide membership organization of blind people, founded in 1940. The NFB advocates for the civil rights and equality of blind people in the United States, and part of its mission is to offer education, technology, and training programs that provide the tools they need to become independent and successful.
Working together, we can help to insure that as much unneeded clothing and other household items as possible is donated for reuse or recycling and not discarded just to pile up in our landfills.
It’s a simple way we can help others in need and our environment.