Clothing donations are needed by many of the estimated 3.5 million people homeless people, 1.35 million of whom are children, living in the United States. But the need doesn't end there: the National Center for Children in Poverty notes that about 28.6 million children living in low-income families and 12.7 million living in poor families—and their parents—could also benefit from donated clothes. As the number of families losing their homes rises, so does the need for donated clothing.
Clothing donations to qualified charitable organizations are tax deductible.
Clothing-donation needs include: school clothes, coats and other cold-weather accessories, professional clothing for employment interviews, and shoes, which wear out quickly and must be replaced often, especially among growing children.
Donated clothes are critical for mothers and young children who must flee their homes because of domestic violence or abuse. Often these women and children leave under dangerous circumstances with only the clothes on their backs.
Clothes donations are also especially needed by homeless veterans. Up to 40 percent of homeless adults are veterans, with more joining their ranks from the Iraqi and Afghanistan wars.
Clothing donations should be clean, undamaged, and reasonably wrinkle-free. Clothing can be folded and packed in sturdy boxes or bags; avoid hangers. Items that come in pairs (shoes, gloves, socks) should be kept together (shoe laces can be tied together, gloves and socks can be stuffed inside each other). Pockets should be emptied and any belts should be securely fastened to their appropriate items.
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Get a tax deduction by donating clothes that do not fit anymore:
Your clothing donation can make a big difference in the lives of children and adults in need. For tax purposes, you should keep a list of the clothing you donate. Donation centers usually give you a tax receipt, but if you mail your clothing or shoe donation to a charity, also send a self-addressed, stamped envelope so it can send you a receipt. Shipping costs are tax deductible as well.
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