A few times each year I ask the older two kids (now 13 and 11) to sort through their clothes and toys. They bring me anything that doesn’t fit or that they no longer play with. By doing this the week before Christmas helps make room for all their new stuff.
I then sack up our oldest daughter’s clothes by size to save them for our two younger daughters. I also have the heartbreaking chore to pull out all the clothes that are too small for our baby girl, who is now 6! All three of our daughters wore many of the outfits. I’m not too embarrassed to admit I usually shed some tears at this point. I wish they were all still little enough to wear them again…
Now I have 8 kitchen trash bags full of men’s, women’s, boy’s and girl’s clothes and shoes along with a cardboard box of toys sitting in our living room. I need to decide where they are most needed, so here are the details about locations I am considering and why.
Value Village is headquartered right here in Puget Sound. Not only do they create jobs and offer affordable reusable items for sale, but they benefit our community in other ways. When you donate items to Value Village they pay local nonprofits as well as national organizations. These organizations improve education, fight diseases and help children and families.
Here are some of the local organizations supported by Value Village:
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound – match caring adults (Bigs) with children (Littles), both of whom benefit from our one-to-one mentoring programs
- The Arc – Washington State – advocates for the rights and full participation of all people with developmental disabilities
- Northwest Center – promote the growth, development, and independence of people with disabilities through programs of education, rehabilitation, and work opportunity
Value Village diverts more than 650 million pounds of goods from landfills annually. They partner with recyclers who repurpose textiles as insulation and rags and sell metal found in clothing as well as electronics for their raw value. The remaining unsold merchandise ships to developing countries where they break down and sort them according to ‘grades’. This employs community members who can now earn a living wage and reinvest their earnings into the local economy. Find out more here.
The Seattle Goodwill uses its net proceeds to fund job training, education resources, and services. For example, they built a new three-story Job Training and Education Center and Administrative Support Building. It was constructed using the narrow footprint design and includes ample windows, rainwater collection and reuse within the building as well as a rain garden where stormwater is recycled. This building earned a LEED Gold Certification—the second highest ranking for eco-friendly buildings.
In addition, Seattle Goodwill is participants of King County and Seattle Public Utility’s Threadcycle Program. This works to keep worn-out clothing and linens out of landfills.
Seattle Goodwill also offers free collection of broken computers, monitors, laptops, tablet computers, televisions, portable DVD players, and e-readers. They do this as part of the E-Cycle Washington program to keep toxic materials out of our landfills.
If you have items that are too large for you to transport, Northwest Center, a partner with Value Village, has a service called Big Blue Truck. Click HERE for a list of acceptable items.
For more suggestions visit Donation Opportunities at Seattle.gov
Where do you and your family take donations? Leave a comment below!