Clothing Donation Goes Further Than You Think | HeartsBeat #2

Helping the public understand what we do and why we do it is one of many goals of our organization. The more people who understand our process, the more help we can receive, and the more work we can all do together for those in need. It’s important to educate the public on how our clothing donation bins work, how we track it, and where you can find one near you, but it’s also important to help people understand the magnitude of their small (or large!) clothing donation. Here on our blog, we’ll continue feature segments of interviews with some of our leadership, so you can hear some of the inspiration behind everything we do. You can hear the full segment above!

For this edition of HeartsBeat, Nick and Ron Calandra talk a little bit deeper into how the process of clothing donation works. You may have seen a clothing donation bin before, and thought “Hey, that’s convenient.” But how many people around Buffalo and WNY know what’s really behind those bins? Why bother donating through the bins? Who is going to recieve it? How do I know I’m helping?

These are all thoughts that may unfortunately put clothing into a trash can, because why bother? What we are aiming to do with these sorts of podcast style interviews is give people a chance to hear exactly why it’s better to recycle and donate clothing than to throw it away. Here’s a few things to think about the next time you or someone you know has a collection of old clothing looking to be moved.

84% of Unwanted Clothing Goes into a Landfill or Incinerator.

The cost of fast fashion may be a booming market for those selling temporarily-popular styles and ever-changing looks, but the waste is unfathomable. This is something that people don’t typically consider when looking at the big picture. What if there were a place around the corner that could pick up your old clothes and put them to good use? We realized that people need a place to go that is nearby, convenient, and effortless. That’s why we’ve made our goal to provide as many donation bins around WNY that we can, and we track the progress to provide productive reuse. 

Huffington Post | You’re Probably Going to Throw Away 81 Pounds of Clothing This Year

People Needed a Place to Drop Used Clothing Off

A huge part of our clothing donation bin strategy is because we realized years back that people needed a place to bring this stuff, and leaving it at the backdoor of an Amvets Thrift Store just doesn’t always cut it. We’ve seen drop off trailers of GoodWill drop-off locations, and all these other organizations do an outstanding job, but we wanted to make it easier on the donator.

It Can Go A lot Further Than You Think.

Just because you don’t see people in need everyday, everyday someone just like you becomes at risk of being homeless, or living on the street. We aim to help those living homeless here in Buffalo, by giving out blankets, gloves and coats in the winter, utilize clothing donations for reselling at our thrift store to help feed individuals with our mobile soup kitchen, but also help send out used clothing to other countries around the world. 

Don’t Judge Your Items Too Critically

If you have it, we can use it. We encourage individuals around New York to contribute any used clothing that is wearable to our efforts using the drop off donation bins. We can take it from there, and sort it to where it can help most. Some people love shopping for unique or vintage items that you may think are old an out of style. On the other side of the coin, functional clothing can mean the world to someone who doesn’t have access to laundry or storage.

“It’s amazing what’s still needed on the street here. So we meet that need first and foremost. Think that, if you’re living on the street or you’re in a shelter, coming by laundry is very difficult. And being able to do laundry on a regular basis is very difficult. Sometimes it’s short lived, and it doesn’t get as much re-use as you’d think, because of the whole laundry thing. And there’s nothing better than a fresh T Shirt on a hot 90 degree day.”

Used Clothing Isn’t Trash, No Matter What Way You Look At It.

When there are so many individuals around WNY who need help, it’s easy to see how simply dropping off a bag of clothing at your local bin can make a bigger impact than throwing it out. We are here, we can help, and we will always be here. Check out our bin locator to see a clothing donation drop off near you.

We’ve been doing this a long time. We’ve come from recycling pop cans, to the tracking live data driven results hooked up to clothing donation bins all over the state. Our goal to help feed homeless and help better lives’ is something we are truly passionate about. There is so much more that goes into tracking, sorting, and measuring the donations to best use for various resources.

Stay tuned to our blog for more editions of our HeartBeat blog, interviews with our leaders, stories from around the community, and much more! Please, if you have any questions at all, you can leave a comment, fill out our form, or give us a call! We love sharing our network and building more and more relationships with the fine people of Western New York!