Donating Clothes! Pleasure or Pain?

    Donating Clothes! Pleasure or Pain?


    Last week I had coffee with a business friend who was affected by recent devastating floods. While she and many others were grateful for all the help they received, some things given to her created problems for her as the receiver and it is delicate stuff. Receiving is not always a pleasure. Sometimes it is painful.
    Here are four things to consider before you donate your unwanted clothes to another person or to a charity so that you give where it will do the most good and be the most appreciated.

    This can be painful. Mark Silver taught me the difference between these two words. When it comes to charity, we all feel that we are donating/giving from our hearts. We know that there are others less fortunate or poorer than us and we want to help. It makes us feel good to give and we want them to feel grateful for our generosity. Rejection is not part of our plan.


    Now try to walk a mile in the other person's shoes. That gift may be totally useless to them - not their style, size, color or fit their current lifestyle situation. Yet they often take it so as not to upset or offend you.


    Change your wording and perception. You are not giving. You are offering. Offers can be accepted or rejected. Think in their shoes, not yours. Your gift may be more appropriate somewhere else.
    Ask What They Truly Want


    There is the story of Juliette Wright who started an organization called Givit because she found that what she was offering (designer baby clothes) was not what the charities desperately needed. She started the website so that charities could ask for items that would support their clients rather than having to accept useless items they later had to throw away. The result is that the donations asked for and given make their clients' lives more enjoyable and productive. This makes giving and receiving pleasurable.
    Stop before you offer your unwanted clothes and accessories to someone. Ask them what they truly want. The answer may surprise you because it is usually not what you were thinking of giving. The pleasure is that you may be able to find and give the appropriate item. The pain is that you may have to find a different place to donate your unwanted items.

    How Else Can I Donate?


    Swapping is one option. You can organize your own swap session or sign up for professional swap meetings. Even here there is still no guarantee that someone else will want what you are offering.
    You can search for specific charities that want what you have to offer or you can sell them. It can become a pleasurable game of -

     who wants what I am offering? 



    Do not stop at the first rejection. You can sign up for the Freecycle organization which is a donation organization based on local areas throughout the world. You list the items you wish to donate and they may or may not be snapped up by others.
    Donate Without Rejection


    Put it anonymously in a charity bin and leave it for them to sort out. There is no pain because you do not do it face-to-face. Be realistic about this. Some items are ready for your rubbish bin. Put those items in the bin. Do not make the charity your rubbish bin.
    By all means, give from your heart. Just do it consciously. One day you may be the person who would rather say no to an offer than be forced to receive something that is of no use to you.

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