It’s hard to avoid discussing social strata. More than ever before, the United States is becoming a shadow of the 1800’s, a polarizing system where everything is given to a little and nothing is handed to a lot. In this difficult economic climate, it becomes imperative to remember the human spark of giving rather than the typical cultural affect of consumption and waste. EPA estimates have suggested that while up to 75% of solid waste is recyclable, only 30% of it actually ends up being reused. This is symptomatic of a larger problem within American society as a whole. When important resources get thrown aside, when physical or social elements get disused or abused, everyone loses. Fortunately, through organizations that pick up donations and donate clothing, money etc, this problem can begin to be rectified. By working together, volunteers for these organizations and the local citizenry can make their communities a kinder place to live. Here are a couple of useful items that can be donated to these charities and what can be done with the items when they are give.
Many of these groups will pick up food or have centers where food can be freely donated. Every year in the U.S. 21.5 million tons of food goes completely unused. Composting all of that food would be the equivalent of removing 2 million cars from the road. This one of them most useful routes to helping families in need, many of whom cannot get enough food to feed themselves. Even if these under-privileged families do get the proper amount food it is often cheap and lacking in the proper nutrition. Veterans charities and general charities will often have events where healthier and safer food can be brought, organized and stored. Increased effort in this area would also go towards helping reduce the obesity problem in military families and civilian families who are below the poverty line. With the unemployment rate for veterans being 2% over the rate for standard citizens, it’s no surprise that military families have difficult keeping enough food on the table. Giving some unused food has absolutely no downside to those who give and can make an impactful and visible difference to those in need.
Organizations that pick up donations will almost always take clothing and textiles. Often times, there is a great or greater need for these resources than typical monetary donations. In 2011, 90% of clothing that was thrown away could have been recycled and given to clothing donations or charitable donations. That’s literal tons of clothing that could have been used to keep impoverished families or individuals warm. Many military charities will have drives to take clothing and give it to those in need, veterans and others. This is especially needed in urban areas, such as Philadelphia, where it is estimated that 440,000 citizens are below the poverty line. In these city-areas, organizations that pick up donations will be frequently joined by other charitable groups to form an expanding network dedicated to helping all of those who’d be otherwise pushed under by the system. In fact, the textile recycling industry creates 17,000 jobs in the United States alone, giving back to people and the economy as a whole at the same time. That’s why support for clothing donations is so critical. It expands farther the more work is done.