Have you ever thought about donating all that clutter you have collecting dust to one of your local Red Cross donation centers? Or maybe you’re thinking that you didn’t even know that Red Cross donation centers were a thing. When you say “Red Cross donation center,” most minds go straight to blood donation, or even cash donation. The truth is, the Red Cross wouldn’t be able to administer aid in areas of crisis without the donations of household goods and gently used clothing from people like you.
We don’t mean for this to come across as a giant commercial for Red Cross donation centers. Whether you make Red Cross clothing donations, or you make used clothing donations to any other organization that does good, the impact of your clothes donations has a ripple effect that does good in so many more ways than just the cause of the organization you give to. Let’s think it through:
The Ripple Effect of Good When You Donate Goods to Charity
- RIPPLE ONE: Yourself.
If you are an American, you are among the most fortunate humans on the planet. We have every thing we need, and more. So much more. We have so many possessions that sometimes our brains feel out of control. This is particularly true when we have more things than our brains feel like they can manage. This triggers a sense of anxiety and makes it more difficult to function and succeed in life.
When you go through your possessions and clear out the items that you don’t need any more, your clean and clear home gives you a sense of zen. It’s easier to think clearly. It’s easier to function and thrive. And that’s not all. Giving your unneeded goods to a charity that does good gives you warm fuzzies. Doing a good deed makes you feel better about yourself, which gives you energy.
- RIPPLE TWO: The planet Earth.
You don’t have to be a mathematician to know that the planet cannot exist forever with the way humans treat it currently. We rob the Earth of its natural resources to create energy and to create the possessions that clutter our homes. Our factories that produce those items also spew air pollution, and physical pollution all over the planet in the process of making out items. Then, when we’re done using them, we cast them off into a landfill. A landfill is essentially a giant hole in the ground that we dump trash into. Once it’s full, we just move along and dig a new hole. At the rate we’re going, one day, our whole planet will be a bunch of trash holes.
However, when we donate goods to charity, we’re helping the planet in several ways: Instead of adding to the 10 million pounds of clothing that end up in a landfill each year, we’re giving our unneeded items a second life. On top of that, the person who makes use of your unneeded item doesn’t have to go buy it new. That means all the energy that would have been spent manufacturing, shipping it, and retailing it are saved. That also means that since one item met the needs of two people, only one item will be discarded in the long-run, saving the trash hole half the space that it would have taken if you’d just thrown it in the trash.
- RIPPLE THREE: Your local economy.
The organization you donate your goods to isn’t the only one who benefits financially from your donation. The organization you give to might use your clothing to actually put clothes on the back of someone in need. But more likely, they’ll sell your goods in a thrift store and use the cash to further their cause. In addition to benefiting the organization you give to, the people who shop at the thrift store your donations end up are able to find items they need at a fraction of the cost of what they’d pay buying it new, so they benefit from your donation. On top of that, now they have more money in their pocket, so they go spend it at other local businesses, so they benefit. Maybe you’re one of those local businesses, so you put money back in your own pocket!