There are more than 1,507,231 tax-exempt organizations accepting charitable donations. In 2013, Americans donated $240.6 billion to charity, including everything from monetary donations to clothing donations. With so many different charities to choose from, how can Americans determine what charities or what act of charity is best?
Think About Less Commonly Donated Items
Many people don’t realize that you can donate just about anything — including old cellphones and eye glasses. Prescription glasses can be costly, and there are several charities out there that accept old pairs that are in reasonably good condition. Some charities even set up an exchange program, helping pair the person who wishes to donate glasses up with someone in need of reliable eye wear. Similarly, landfills are beginning to fill up with old and disused cellphones. Many charities will recycle or refurbish old cellphones and smartphones, or pass them along to someone in need.
Don’t Throw Out Old Clothing
While clothing is a much more common item to donate, it is also a common item to throw away. Here are some words of advice: Don’t. More than 90% of clothes and fabrics that end up as waste could have been reused or recycled. Lightly used clothing can do a great deal of good. In other word, helping families in need can be as simple as donating a sweater, a jacket, or infant clothes.
Reconsider That Garage Sale
Let’s think about this one for a second. You could sit in front of your home for hours in the hot blazing sun, only to go inside later — maybe just $20 or $30 richer and with a handful of items no one wanted. Or you can donate used toys, clothes, and other items to charity, write it off on your taxes, and let someone else worry about the selling part.
There are all kinds of possibilities when it comes to giving back. Donate used toys and clothes, or think outside of the box and recycle non-conventional items, like eye glasses and cellphones.