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Donate School Blazers With Respect

Updated on December 24, 2016
Private schools like Elmwood School in Ontario, still have school uniforms.
Private schools like Elmwood School in Ontario, still have school uniforms. | Source
The Walton girls, all six of them, born in November 1983 in England, in their school uniform.
The Walton girls, all six of them, born in November 1983 in England, in their school uniform.

Donations are not as innocent as they seem. People donate for different reasons.

  • To remove money from the taxman’s calculator through trust funds or non-profit organizations (it’s all legal).

  • To clear their basements or the attic.

  • To buy political votes or permission to by-pass certain laws.

  • To salvage their conscience for an evil act towards a group of people.

  • To save the environment. Why throw it away when I wore it once and someone might need it?

What is important is donating with respect. Receivers should feel that someone is giving them a boost during a difficult period in the lives, not a boot kick to remind them they are in the poverty mud.

Donate School Uniforms

The British educational system brought the concept of the school uniform to the lands they conquered, also known as the British Empire. North America, although most of it was under British rule, has abandoned school uniforms.

However, they are still schools that require kids to look the same by wearing uniforms, especially Catholic schools. They can be quite expensive, so donating them might help families who do not have a lot of money.

Donating with respect means that:

  1. Blazers are taken to professional laundry marts and are covered with plastic.

  2. Shoes are polished and placed in new plastic bag or boxes from card stores.

Thrift Stores

Before shopping for your vacation or just to spruce up your summer wardrobe, consider donating your old clothes to charity, but do it with respect.

You can find donation bins in most mall complexes in Canada and the United States. Other countries use churches as drop-offs. Most second hand stores also take them.

Donating with respect means you recognize that another human being will buy your pajamas for ten dollars at a Salvation Army store. People going through a rough patch in life might not afford to buy new things but they are still human and should be treated as such.

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How do I donate with respect?

  • Donating with respect means dropping old spring coats, summer dresses, cotton sleepwear, everything you are going to donate in the washer and dryer. Let clothes billow in the wind and be kissed by the sun, if you are fortunate enough to have a house with a backyard and a clothesline.

  • Plug your iron and press them. It will be easier to pack them in your old nylon suitcase or boxes.

  • Make sure clothes have all the buttons. Go fishing in that handbag or drawer where you keep spare buttons that come with new clothing. There must be more than 30 buttons in there.

  • Sew them on before you take things to the donation bin.

  • Also donate clothes you’ve never worn, once you realize that going back to size 10 when you’re over 40 might be a pipe dream.

  • Use your discretion. Don’t take very old T-shirts to the donation bin. Mine are green under the armpits because of deodorant and my funky body odor. I cut up sleeves, throw a crazy belt around my waist, zip up my shorts and I’m good to go.

  • Use old T-shirts to wash the car or dust furniture.

  • Some people don’t throw away shoe boxes. Use them. Volunteers sorting donated stuff won’t have to go crazy looking for the other shoe.

  • Donating with respect means taking your old curtains to the cleaners before dropping them in the donation bin.

Group Donations

You are not the only one who says, “I don’t know why I’m keeping these black skirts because I’m no longer in the church choir.” Talk to your friends and family and see who wants to be part of this group effort.

Stress the importance of donating with respect, which means it is more work. They must make sure that clothes are clean.

Encourage teenagers to clean their closets and donate baseball caps, sneakers they feel are not ‘cool’ anymore or oversize shorts and vests. It’s very rare to find these items in second hand stores, which is a pity because some cash-strapped families have teenage sons and daughters.

Group members should help each other. Go to your neighbor’s house this week and help him decide what he wants to donate. It will be yours next week. Rotate. This will give you an idea of the donations. Is it more children’s, men’s or women’s clothing?

This will help you determine the number of boxes you need. Supermarkets recycle cardboard boxes. Talk to store managers. They might show you the back of the store where they keep boxes to be picked up by the recycling van.

Better still, some group members might have travel bags and backpacks they want to donate. These should also be clean.

Treat Goodwill like a store

  • Once you decide that you will donate your old clothes, visit Value Village, Goodwill or Salvation Army stores. You’ll realize that shoppers are normal people like you, clean clothes and neat hair. They are from all races, young and old.

  • You will also notice that everything is nicely laid out: men’s and women’s sections, kids, bicycles, computers, linen, furniture, bedding, cutlery, books, appliances etc.

  • What you don’t see is a room behind the store where volunteers sort out contents of those donation bins. I was lucky to stumble upon an open door during one of my visits to Value Village.

  • What I saw were laundry piles of shirts, jackets and other pieces of clothing.

  • Some men take their shirts to commercial cleaners. They always come back in wire hangers and plastic covers to protect them from dust.

  • Give the shirts you are donating the same treatment. This will save Goodwill or Salvation Army time. They will remove the plastic covering and hang them in the men’s section.

  • You can put your shirts in those plastic suit bags you never use before you drop them off.

  • Caution. Some of those donation bins have very small mouths or openings. That is why people just stuff plastic bags full of unwashed clothes down those openings.

  • If your donated shoes are in boxes, men’s suits and shirts in hangers and pressed T-shirts in boxes, enter the store and tell the manager that you have donations that won’t fit in the donation box.

  • Most Goodwill stores in Canada accept walk-ins. They also have trucks for picking up stuff such as furniture.

Rewards

  • Group donations might become popular with stores. Managers might tell you what they need the most.

  • You might start group donations at work or at the gym.

  • Involve kids. They will think it is fun initially. They will later realize their good fortune of having clothes on their back and a roof over their head.

  • Sports celebrities might want to donate their stuff.


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