11 Better Ways to Donate to Charity

I recently volunteered at the Rosenberg-Richmond Helping Hands Center. It was a great experience, but I realized that people who donate may not know exactly how to do so in the cleanest, most helpful way. So here are 11 things to remember the next you donate.

1. Be sure that anything you donate would actually help someone. Meaning, if it is broken, useless, or not salvageable, it belongs in the trash, not in a donation bin.

2. When donating clothes, WASH THEM FIRST. I cannot stress this enough! When sorting and hanging clothes, I found jackets covered in cat hair, dirt, and many other unidentifiable substances.

3. Also, donate only clothes that you could see someone wearing. There were some very… um let’s say interesting pieces of clothes that we had to throw out because they were not things that would even be appropriate to hang.

4. Be sure that you think of who might be receiving these clothes. While those who need clothes might appreciate nicer clothes, prom dresses may not be something they are looking for (there was a surprising amount of these).  Before donating something like a prom dress find out if they are taking them.  There are times when these are really needed, so maybe hang on to the item until then.

5. DO NOT, under any circumstances, donate USED underclothing. Yes, unfortunately, there were a few incidents that included a VERY long time scrubbing my hands.

6. However, underwear still in the package would be extremely helpful.

7. When donating shoes, first make sure they are wearable. Then think, “If I were in need of shoes, would these be good to have?” There was an unbelievable amount of high heels and sandals, which are not exactly what people have in mind when they were looking for practical shoes to wear on their feet.

8. Fold clothes carefully and label what type of clothes they are. For example, mark whether they are men’s, women’s, or children’s clothing.

9. Looking around the room with the clothes hanging, I noticed that the clothes they need most are small men’s clothing. If you have anything in that category, it would be a great help.

10. They could never have too much toilet paper, soap, or other hygiene products. (Please make sure that they are not used and are still in their original factory wrapping.)

11. You can also donate diapers, whether they be children’s or adult’s (luckily, there were no issues with used donations there).

Hopefully, with all this information, you can donate more of what people will really need!