Following on from ‘Are Charity Shops Misunderstood’ I promised to expand on some of the other places we can donate to, to get items directly into the hands of those who might need them the most, for free.
5 Charity Shop Alternatives to Help You Reach Those in Need
Don’t get me wrong, charity shops have their plus points, but they’re not the only charitable way to get rid of things you don’t need anymore.
Plus, thrift shopping is quite common these days for people who don’t really need to thrift – they just want the buzz of a bargain and enjoy shopping in a more eco-friendly way – and why not!
1 Help the homeless
Countless community based housing services welcome donations of practical things to give to those experiencing housing difficulties. It’s worth finding out what services are on offer in your area, and the types of donations they would like.
Some churches accept clothing (and other) donations, and then open up their doors so those in need can come and take advantage. Check with churches in your local area to see what they’re doing.
3 Eager job hunters
You heard right!
There are organisations set up to help those who need outfits for job interviews, e.g. for women, there’s Dress for Success a global charity (including UK – London, Ireland and Scotland). You can arrange to have donations delivered on one of their advertised ‘receiving’ days, or drop off in person.
Smart Works is another one in london for women’s clothes.
Similalry for men, Suited and Booted, based in the City of London.
For men and women, Suited for Success, based in UK Birmingham does a similar thing.
These job seeker support services receive brand new clothing and accessory donations directly from retailers (very high end in some cases) as well as those of us with suitable clothes to offer, in good condition.
There are probably lots of these sorts of charities across the country – but unless you work in certain sectors that bring them to your attention to help you support those in need – people are generally unaware of them because they just don’t get the media publicity that some other dominant charities get.
Job hunters do not pay for their outfits, the whole point is to give them that extra bit of help to try and secure a job if they’re already struggling to make ends meet.
You can contact them directly to arrange getting a donation to them.
4 Victim Support shelters/women and children’s refuges etc
Those fleeing domestic abuse or some other crisis may have little or no time to gather their much needed belongings. Donations to related services offer a much needed helping hand and there are plenty to choose from.
5 Crisis/Disaster Appeals
Most of the time disasters around the world will present various means to make money donations online, through banks, GoFundMe or other community based fundraising activities.
Sometimes, they might also ask for specific types of item/clothing donations, along with people who have family connections in those countries (you might know someone) many of whom will organise their own shipments to send ‘home’ to their affected friends and relatives.
You might know of other useful alternatives to charity shops to add to this list – feel free to share below 👌