Do you donate your clothes to friends, thrift stores or the needy? | The Frugalista

Do you donate your clothes to friends, thrift stores or the needy?

by frugalista on October 6, 2009

Donating my clothes and clothing swaps are something that I've done for my entire life. Growing up, my mother and I used to ship my adorable Esprit sweaters and other goods down to Texas for my cousins to wear. Likewise, my cousin's mom would ship up the clothes her daughters no longer could wear to me. I mean, when you buy quality things, they last a while. It was like a fun game that kept me connected to my cousins who lived several states away

My mother always had a philosophy that we should donate to people who we knew. We never donated to Goodwill because she didn't know who would use the clothes. My mother always worried that if we donated to the Salvation Army or even some charity groups, the workers would get first dibs on the best gear and the neediest people wouldn't get a shot at them.

Growing up in Chicago, we knew plenty of people through my mother's high school who could always use a coat or item.  When my mother and I cleaned out my closet, she always asked her friends if they knew a needy child (mom is a retired educator). We got a sense of satisfaction from knowing for sure that my beloved pieces would help a little girl look fly for free. I remember one time hearing about one of the girls we donated clothing to was excited to fit into one of my bras. TMI, but I wanted to share. You never know what someone else may need. We take so much for granted.

Now, as an adult, I've donated to Goodwill a few times for the tax write off. But recently, I donated clothes to a man who takes them back home to Haiti. I can't tell you how good it makes me feel to give clothing away to people who I know would appreciate them. I've gained a few pounds so most of the clothing would still be worn by me if I could fit them. A friend of mine also donated to the gentleman and reminded me that it's better to donate to needy people who you may know personally. Tax write off be damned.

Nowadays, with the economy being rather shoddy, a lot of people who were once very stable are now going to thrift stores to shop. So, needy people DO buy from thrift stores.

Also, people are buying the best items at the thrift store and selling them for a profit. I am a frugal capitalist, so I admire their hustle.

So does it matter who gets your donated items? Would you be upset if your donated clothing were sold for a profit on Ebay? Would you be upset if something you donated ended up in the hands of someone rich yet frugal? Should people care? Do you donate to thrift store or to needy people you may know personally? Should you donate to get the tax write off?

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