How to Donate Old Clothes
“People should give as much thought to where they donate their clothes as to where they donate their money,” says Goodwill spokesperson Christine Nyirjesy Bragale. The following organizations are all nonprofit.
Goodwill helps provide job training to people with special needs. Its more than 2,600 stores, packed with donated clothing and other household goods, help fund that mission.
What to donate: Almost anything―shoes, slacks, lederhosen―as long as the things are in reasonable condition. Like most charities that run thrift stores, Goodwill does not discriminate.
How it works: Pickup service is often provided, but you can also drop off clothing at any Goodwill location. But don’t leave items outside a facility after hours―you won’t get a receipt, and they could be stolen or damaged.
Where to find it: Use the Zip Code locator at goodwill.org to find a location near you, or call 800-466-9455.
The Salvation Army
One of the largest charitable organizations in the world, the Salvation Army runs many social-service programs, such as homeless services and disaster-relief efforts.
What to donate: A good rule of thumb: If you would give an item to a friend, it’s fit to donate.
How it works: Drop off your items at any of its 1,526 thrift stores nationwide, or arrange to have them picked up. Most locations don’t require a minimum number of bags for pickup.
Where to find it: For pickup, call 800-728-7825. For further information, or to find stores where you can drop off clothing, go to salvationarmyusa.org.
Founded to assist American veterans and their dependents, AmVets offers information and counseling, as well as scholarships for dependents.
What to donate: Practically anything, even if it is missing a button or is a tad stretched out.
How it works: Call to schedule a pickup.
Where to find it: Call 800-810-7148, or go to amvets.org for more information.
Dress for Success
An organization that assists low-income women looking for jobs. It has more than 70 affiliates throughout the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and New Zealand.
What to donate: Business clothing, coats, shoes, handbags, and briefcases that are in excellent condition and no more than five years old. Dress for Success is most in need of shoes and clothing sizes 14 and up.
How it works: Its annual suit drive, called Send One Suit, or S.O.S., usually runs every spring. Bring your suit to any of the 800 Dress Barns around the country. To donate at another time, check with your local chapter.
Where to find it: Go to dressforsuccess.org and click on “Locations.”
The Glass Slipper Project
A Chicago-based organization that provides financially needy high school girls with prom dresses.
What to donate: Prom-ready formal wear for women (read: every bridesmaid dress you’ve ever worn) and accessories such as shoes, jewelry, and evening bags. Unused makeup and perfume samples are also accepted.
How it works: Drop off or mail in your dresses; include a self-addressed, stamped envelope and you’ll get a receipt after prom season.
Where to find it: Go to glassslipperproject.org for shipping information and drop-off locations.
Founded to keep useful items out of landfills, this ecologically minded “middleman” connects you to thousands of charities in need, from soup kitchens to shelters.
What to donate: Anything can be posted on the site, from a bag of clothes to household items to furniture. Excess Access just asks that you be honest about the condition of the items.
How it works: You can post unlimited items and the site will match what you’re donating to wish lists from local charities. The charity will then arrange to pick up your goods.
Where to find it: Go to excessaccess.org for more information.
New Eyes for the Needy
Founded in 1932 to provide better vision for the poor throughout the world, this organization has provided glasses to more than 7 million people globally.
What to donate: Metal frames in any condition, unbroken plastic-frame glasses, sunglasses, hearing aids, and cataract lenses. It also accepts jewelry and giftware, which are sold to raise money for glasses.
How it works: Mail your items in padded envelopes (or drop them off, if you are near the organization’s Short Hills, New Jersey, offices); include a return address with a ZIP Code to get a receipt.
Where to find it: Go to neweyesfortheneedy.org for more information, or call 973-376-4903.