The American National Red Cross is the 13th largest charity in the U.S., as ranked by private donations; in 2014, they received $687 million in private donations. While that may seem like a lot, consider that 24 hours per day, 365 days a year, in some of the toughest circumstances, the American Red Cross provides relief for families and communities.
Founded in 1881 by a nurse named Clara Barton and a circle of her acquaintances, it was originally formed to aid men wounded on the battlefield. However, it has since taken on a larger mission, and offers aid in situations such as earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters. Their mission is to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.
Aside from monetary donations, one can donate clothes to Red Cross, although not directly, in most cases. Through partnerships with other organizations, such as those that pick up used clothing donations, the items are either palletized and donated in bulk or, more commonly, sold in thrift stores whose proceeds then benefit the American Red Cross. Although it may seem that proceeds from a secondhand store might not add up to much, consider this: over 70 percent of Americans give to charity annually; not all of that giving is monetary. In 2015, over $2.5 million was generated in charity proceeds from the sale of the donated items. And the added benefit for the donator is that the donation is tax deductible.
Once you?ve made the decision to donate clothes to Red Cross, there are a few steps you can follow to make the process simple. Sometimes it?s hard to go through clothing and other items and know what to give away. Some items represent special events, and we hold on to them for nostalgic reasons. However, there are plenty of items that simply don?t fit, or aren?t fun to wear any more. One bit of advice in choosing clothes to get rid of is to ask yourself two questions: Do I love it? Does it fit? If the answer to either one of those is ?no,? and there is no significant sentimental value to the piece, then perhaps it?s time to let go of that item.
To donate clothes to Red Cross, simply bag up the clothing donations and call the appropriate clothing donation center in your area. They?ll schedule a clothing donation pickup at a time that is convenient for you, or direct you to a nearby Red Cross clothes donation drop off site. You?ll get a great feeling from donating, in part because you?ve reduced clutter in your own life, but more importantly, because you?ve helped a wonderful organization that in turn helps others throughout our country.