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National Give Something Away Day: How donating one item of clothing can spark change in your community

Posted: 4:25 PM, Jul 15, 2021
Updated: 2021-07-15 17:25:36-04

When cleaning out our closets, we only see the personal benefits, like having more space or keeping clothes out of landfills. What you may not realize is that donating just one article of clothing can make a big impact in the community.

That's why National Give Something Away Day was started six years ago, to encourage people to give back.

Here in Central Texas, nonprofits need your help now more than ever.

“We are now receiving donations again. We want all the clothes that people have that they're willing to donate. That's probably our greatest need, but, you know, a very close second is furniture items," explained Lt. David Beckham of the Salvation Army.

The pandemic brought hardships for a lot of nonprofits.

According to a recent survey, more than 66% of participating Texas nonprofits say they had disruption of services due to COVID-19, while almost 70% of participating Texas nonprofits say they saw a decline in individual donations.

But in tough times, the community found ways to come together.

“During COVID-19 we saw a tremendous amount of support from our community. Like most of the country, we had to shut our store down, stores down for a period of time. But we still saw the continued support and generosity from our, from our community through donations," explained Serina Cole, vice president of marketing and communications for Heart of Texas Goodwill.

Things are slowly getting back to normal, but the effects of the pandemic can still be felt.

“Without our community support and their donations, we could not function," said Cole.

She has seen the impact these organizations have through a man named Bobby.

“He was a veteran, and he had struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder for many years of his life. And so Goodwill, through our Operation Good Jobs Program, was able to give him the assistance that he needed to rebuild his resume, the one-on-one coaching that provided him with a confidence to get back into the workforce and become successful in what he does," Cole recalled.

If you are unable to give monetarily, just one clothing donation can cause a positive domino effect in your neighborhood.

“It elevates their self-worth, and there's science, this is scientific. They've studied this to where, when you elevate an individual's self-worth, what that translates into is their desire to help other people in need. So what we do for other people when we elevate their self-worth by giving them clothes or food or shelter or furnishing their home with their needs, right, what it translates into is their desire to help other people and so on and so on and so on," said Lt. Beckham.

If you don't have any clothes or furniture to donate, there are still ways to celebrate National Give Something Away Day.

“We just encourage to take the kindness that that day has meant and just show kindness to other people and generosity to the people, whether it's giving something to an organization that's caused or cause that's close to you, or even buying a cup of coffee for somebody in the, in the line behind you at Starbucks, just taking the opportunity to do something nice and, and support the people around you," said Cole.

To find a Goodwill donation center near you, click here.

To find a Salvation Army donation center near you, click here.