I'm very big on "out with the old, in with the new". In fact, I've had an unwritten rule for myself that if I'm out of hangers in my closet for new pieces coming in, then it's time to purge some things. In one of my recent blogs, I talk about clearing out your closet as a way to help boost your style confidence. This is a great way to get rid of pieces that don't make you feel good. Another purpose this serves is feeling good about donating to organizations that will use the clothing to give back to the local community. Let's take a look at some options during this unprecedented time in which we are living. You may be surprised at how many options there are now that many counties in our area have moved to the "Yellow Phase" in the opening-up process. There are even online options for those who still feel safer at home.
Dress For Success Pittsburgh
Dress For Success is a wonderful organization whose purpose is to offer long-lasting solutions that enable women to break the cycle of poverty. Not only do they provide each client with professional attire to secure employment, but they are about much more than simply a new outfit. Besides physically equipping the client with apparel and accessories, their programs furnish her with a confidence that she carries forever and the knowledge that she can actively define her life, the direction she takes, and what success means to her.
The Allegheny and Washington branches will tentatively begin accepting clothing donations beginning June 18. To be added to the in-kind donor list and schedule a contactless drop-off, please email the Allegheny Branch at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Washington Branch at email@example.com. You can also learn more about the organization, become a corporate partner, or support their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic at dressforsuccess.org/get-involved/donate/.
The Salvation Army Western Pennsylvania Division
In addition to caring for the poor, feeding the hungry and educating our youth, The Salvation Army responds to emergencies, shelters the homeless, reunites families, and renews health to addicts throughout Western Pennsylvania. Now, to help prepare children to go back to school in the fall after many families have suffered financial hardship, they are holding a drive in Mount Lebanon where they will be collecting donations of used children's clothing. In cooperation with Mt. Lebanon High School and the Mt. Lebanon Police Association, The Salvation Army Pittsburgh Temple Worship and Service Center will begin preparing for back to school as soon as this year’s school year ends. On Saturday, June 6, 2020, they are conducting a “Clothes for Kids" drive in the parking lot of Southminster Church from 9am to 1pm. As you clean house for spring the Salvation Army will be collecting new and gently used clothes, shoes, and backpacks for children and teens. All items will be distributed to families in need in August. Please click here to view their press release for more details.
For those of you who feel safer to donate from home, this is a wonderful option! ThreadUp is an online thrift store where consumers have the opportunity to trade in their used clothing for cash. You also have the option to donate to causes you care about by sending it what they call a "Donation Kit". They partner with charities such as Feeding America, Girls Inc., Wardrobe For Opportunity, and Help A Mother Out. They will donate $5 to the charity you choose for each Donation Kit you send in. Click here for more information.
Society of Saint Vincent DePaul Council of Pittsburgh
This non-profit organization serves local Individuals in need on a person-to-person level. Sales at their stores help support people with rent, utility bills, food & medical care just to name a few. And their thrift stores serve as outlets for clothing and household items to needy individuals and families throughout the area. The Pittsburgh Council had to close their 5 stores during the COVID-19 lockdown, however, the need for assistance has not disappeared. If anything, the needs for local assistance has gone up. In speaking with a local volunteer, we're told that there are plans in place for accepting donations again as early as June 1. Please visit their website svdppitt.org/ for more information and to locate a donation center near you.
Giving Back to the 'Burgh
We all know times are collectively tough and while the world is figuring out the next steps, we know things aren't going to magically get better overnight. With all this extra time, there's a chance you've already done a closet cleanout - or your planning on a cleanout soon - so why not help your collective Yinzers? One donation can go a long way and in some cases can help those looking for a new start! The world could always use a little more love, share yours today!