Giving Mindfully: Things to Keep in Mind While Donating Clothes
Good intentions are not sufficient to carry out deeds of benevolence. Here are some points you must keep in mind when making a donation.
There is a false belief that only the rich or philanthropists can offer charity or donations. The festive season is a time for sharing love, caring for your loved ones and spreading joy all around. However, beyond your circle of family and friends, everyone might not be fortunate enough to think of this time as a happy occasion. When you’re looking to spread festive cheer beyond your immediate circle, there are many options available, including donating.
Gifting or donation has several facets apart from monetary aspects. Time, skill, resources, food, books, clothes, etc are also charitable donations. These can be grand or small, everything counts as giving. For Indu Singh, 37, this Diwali will be extra special because she has decided that instead of hosting a regular Diwali party to exchange gifts amongst friends and family, her guests will bring items they do not want anymore. These items (clothes, shoes, books, toys, old bedsheets, curtains, earthen lamps (diyas) from previous years) will be donated to an NGO.
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There are several organisations running in India that takes old garments for donation such as:
- Clothes Box Foundation (Haryana, Maharashtra, Odisha and Jharkhand)
- Share At Door Step (SADS) (Bengaluru)
- Clothes For Help (Kolkata)
- Prayas (Hyderabad)
- Goonj (Delhi)
- Goodwill India
Once you figure out your decision to support a cause, you can donate to accredited non-profit organisations that are efficient and transparent about their working protocol and management. One can find myriads of non-profit entities out there that claim to provide aid and basic requirements. However, it is only wise to ensure you are dealing with a genuine one and it can be done by finding out about the NGO. Collection procedures of an organisation depend on its resources, some arrange donation pickups from the office or home doorsteps.
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How to tell if a certain NGO is genuine and not scamming people under the hood of charitable work? It is a harsh truth that people do get duped by fraudsters in the name of benevolence and donations. But you can protect yourself by finding out if an NGO is authentic and verified by considering the following steps:
- Before making any donations, visit charities, aid foundation counsellors for the betterment of people’s efforts and rural technology, and trustworthy collaborations.
- Enquire about the proof of registration of accredited non-profit organisations and ask if they provide you with tax-free donations.
- Make sure to run a background verification of the NGO like website, social media presence, contact person details, proceeding campaigns, financial records, etc.
- Look for the annual reports of the entity as it contains the details of its past activities which can give you a good idea of its work.
- Always make donation transactions via online gateways that give email receipts of successful transactions.
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Things To Keep In Mind While Donating
- Check demand: Donations are collected according to the current situation and type of the cause. It is always better to consider the needs and interests of the person you intend to give.
- Segregate items: Separate clothes which do not fit you anymore. Donate dresses that are in good and wearable condition.
- Clean the fabric: Items like bedding, towels, or clothes must be cleaned. Dry clean or wash and treat any stains before donating. Keep donations fresh and clean for their new owners.
- Incorporate expensive clothes: Don't hesitate to include expensive clothing like a suit or formal attire along with accessories for special charities.
- Undergarments are a big NO: Underwear is always supposed to be bought new, to keep infections at bay. Do not include underwear in the donation no matter how good or pricey your old ones are.
- Avoid mutilated or torn clothing: Does your old shirt or top have holes in it? Are your shoes torn or is the sole damaged? Then it’s time to repurpose, recycle, or throw it away. Consider granting items that are new or worn a few times.
- Keep a check on the season: Do not hand over woollen clothes in summer and cotton in winter. Make sure to give warm clothes like, sweaters, blankets, socks and boots for winter. In summers, select light comfortable apparels of cotton for a meaningful and mindful donation.
- Donate accessories too: Consider giving away unused and spare accessories such as shoes, handbags, slippers, scarves, sunglasses that rarely get donated to charities.
- Check for missing attachments: Do not add jackets or pants without zippers or missing buttons. Inspect carefully for absent shoe laces, soles from footwear, drawstrings or straps from handbags before donating.
- Give in pairs: Do not give just a single shoe/sock, it's useless for anyone who receives it.
- Keep items donation-ready: Before scheduling the pickup, pack all items neatly in a box so that it is easy and safe for delivery or door-pickup.