Donating clothing to charity and other household items is probably something we don’t think much about. We just kind of do it without thinking, if we do it at all. However, it can be helpful to know why donating is so important. There are organizations that pick up donations because of how important they deem it to be; they want to make sure the process is as simple as possible for those who donate. This helps them to get more donations than if they relied on people to bring the donations to them. Furthermore, clothing donations aren’t just for those poor third world countries that are so far away from us. We have poverty right here in America and sometimes we don’t even realize how bad it can get for some people.
How many people live in poverty in America?
There are more than 46 million people living in poverty in America. There are only a little over 318 million people in the whole nation so that is a high percentage. In Philadelphia alone there are about 440,000 people that fall below the federal poverty line.
What is the federal poverty line?
This is more of a percentage based on how many people live in a house hold. However, this is a good gauge for the 2016 federal poverty levels. The first number represents how many people live in the house and the second number is the maximum dollar amount per household.
1 – $11,880
2 – $16,020
3 – $20,160
4 – $24,300
5 – $28,440
6 – $32,580
7 – $36,730
8 – $40,890
The numbers tend to change year by year but these are the figures good as of 2016 according to Obamacare research. With this many people living at this level, donating to charity comes a lot closer to home than if you think about it in terms of third world countries.
How does donating help these families?
When you are living in poverty, every little bit helps. Being able to get a free pair of shoes or a coat for the winter can be a huge weight of someone’s shoulders. When you can’t afford something so ‘trivial’ as we may think, it can be very stressful, especially if it’s your children that need the shoes or coats. Organizations that pick up donations actually come to your house to pick up any items you want to donate so that they can quickly distribute them to where they need to go in order to get them out to people who need them.
Is there any benefit to me if I give charitable donations?
Absolutely. Besides the personal satisfaction that will inevitable follow a donation drop off or when organizations that pick up donations stops by, it is quite a tax break. Everything that you donate can be written off as a deduction on the following year’s tax return. So, the more you donate, the higher break you get on your taxes so it’s really almost like you are selling your items instead of donating them. It’s just a delayed payment of sorts.
How do I go about donating?
If you’ve never donated before then the first thing you want to do is go through your home and look for items that are gently used. You don’t want to drop off all your old broken junk. Have some pride in what you are donating and try to limit yourself to donating items that still have a lot of use left in them but you just don’t need them anymore. A good rule of thumb is if you haven’t thought about it in the past six months, you probably can do without it. After you have collected all the items that you want to donate, you have a couple of options. You can either contact one of the organizations that pick up donations or you can take it yourself to a drop off center, whichever is more convenient for you. If you are specific about where you’d like your donations to go to, you may want to do a little more research to find out the mission and vision of several different charities and see which one matches your intentions.
Whoever and however you decide to donate will be much appreciate by whoever receives it. It’s a great thing to participate in the bigger picture.