Donating clothes? Not all collection boxes are equal

There are 20 comments on the Feb 19, 2009, Chicago Tribune story titled Donating clothes? Not all collection boxes are equal. In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

The weekend is here and you're in the mood for some spring cleaning. But before you throw that pile of too-tight pants and too-high heels into the clothing drop-off bin outside your local grocery store, think ...

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sidney

Lafayette, IN

#1 Feb 20, 2009
For Northsiders, may I recommend a few places beyond Goodwill that are great charitable donations? The Brown Elephant (Clark and Balmoral - with another location in Lakeview) helps those with HIV, and Care For Real (6044 N Broadway) is an Edgewater organization that helps at-risk population with clothes, food and job training.
Alan

Chicago, IL

#2 Feb 20, 2009
The Society of St. Vincent dePaul, a non-profit worldwide charitable organization operates clothing drop boxes in Chicago and suburbs.
One located on the northside is on Irving Park Road next to St. Benedict
Church. It is quite active and clean servicable donations are collected twice weekly by the Society. Items are then donated to needy persons through free thrift stores. We can use your help.
IMHO

Round Lake, IL

#3 Feb 20, 2009
Thanks for a wrothless article. Most people know this. How about a list of names of the for-profit outfits? I know there is one VietNam vets organization fronting as a charity that is really for profit, but I don't know which one.
methuselah

Chicago, IL

#4 Feb 20, 2009
Do not donate to TVIND which operates the green "Gaia" clothing donation bins. The used clothing you put into these bins goes into the ragpicking business, not to clothe the needy or raise money to help them. The overwhelming majority of the money Gaia makes goes to running their businesses. Google Gaia clothing donations to see the many negative reviews of this dishonest charity, and donate your unwanted things to local organizations who really help your neighbors in need.

“Get F__king Real”

Since: Jan 08

Rural Illinois

#5 Feb 20, 2009
Out here in the boonies it's the red and white checkered boxes. My understanding is their a run by a for profit company. Their boxes are marked only clothes and shoes. Anything else is just tossed. The clothes and shoes are bundled by size and sold overseas.
As a business model it's a great idea, low overhead, no-cost product. Ethically it's a Pandora's Box. The used clothing sent overseas has a competitive advantage over local textile industries.
That's why when one sees third world disaster coverage there are so many people wearing A&F, and sports themed apparel.
Robby D

Chicago, IL

#6 Feb 20, 2009
I gotta echo the Brown Elephant recommendation.(Also, I gotta recommend shopping there, some really great stuff!)

On a side note, Salvation Army will come and take your stuff if you call them, and then you know who exactly is getting your clothing donation.
George

Chicago, IL

#7 Feb 20, 2009
Why doesn't this article name the for-profit companies with no connections with charities?

Who comes up with these fluff stories?
Salvation Army

Chicago, IL

#8 Feb 20, 2009
I think the Salvation Army Thrift Stores are a great place to donate. It is also tax deductable.Check out their website.
wow

Streamwood, IL

#9 Feb 20, 2009
I think some great articles could come out of this story- an article on these for profit agencies that run these boxes. There is a walmart near me that has one. I have seen the red checkered boxes as well.

Another article that I have seen done on some 20/20 or dateline investigation is where people go and raid these boxes or the bags around these boxes and take the stuff for their own use. I call them lazy dumpster divers.

If I have stuff to donate I usually drop it off at the salvation army store. We have one here in streamwood near barrington road/ rt 19.
Rusty

Chicago, IL

#10 Feb 20, 2009
Ditto IMHO -- what a lazy reporting job not to give a few suggestions of real nonprofits.
So what

Buffalo Grove, IL

#11 Feb 20, 2009
Kingcuke wrote:
Out here in the boonies it's the red and white checkered boxes. My understanding is their a run by a for profit company. Their boxes are marked only clothes and shoes. Anything else is just tossed. The clothes and shoes are bundled by size and sold overseas.
As a business model it's a great idea, low overhead, no-cost product. Ethically it's a Pandora's Box. The used clothing sent overseas has a competitive advantage over local textile industries.
That's why when one sees third world disaster coverage there are so many people wearing A&F, and sports themed apparel.
I want one of those Cubs World Series shirts they sent overseas in 2003.
Matt

United States

#12 Feb 20, 2009
St Vincent De Paul- Midlothian, on 147th near Cicero
Salvation Army- 87th and Cicero,
5112 S. Ashland, 6343 W 63rd,
93d and Harlem.

THESE groups HELP people, not themselves.
zizib

Libertyville, IL

#13 Feb 20, 2009
Yes to St. Vincent de Paul! I bring items to their location at Webster and Halsted. They are always extremely grateful to get donations, and it's tax deductible too!
Laurie

Franklin, MI

#14 Feb 20, 2009
I had not heard of this, but I will be really ca reful now. We have those boxes all over the greater Detroit area. I would love a list of names
MmM

Chicago, IL

#15 Feb 20, 2009
Who the h... is Mark Fillies ???

http://www.MarkFillies.com

Since: Aug 08

Chicago IL

#16 Feb 21, 2009
zizib wrote:
Yes to St. Vincent de Paul!

Another drop-off location: Bryn Mawr and California, behind St. Hilary's church.
Anna

Evanston, IL

#17 Feb 21, 2009
MmM wrote:
Who the h... is Mark Fillies ???
http://www.MarkFillies.com
Who the h*ll cares!!
dora

Lincoln, IL

#18 Feb 21, 2009
The Brown Elephant, though a worthy charity in most respects, may NOT be the best place for all of your donations. Clothing that is not absolutely perfect and in style is shredded for mattress filling, while some other charities will give it to people who only care about being warm, since not everyone can afford to be so picky. The other problem is that they have some pretty nasty signs up (in the Lakeview location) complaining about people bringing in stuff they do not think is up to their standards. I understand that not every item brought in is appropriate for sale, but why the rudeness? It's like they are personally offended that you would dare think anyone would be able to use your scuffed Tupperware pitcher (their display example). At least at the Salvation Army when I drop my stuff off, I do not get the impression that my donation is barely being tolerated and that I might be chastised for dropping it off. Plus you can pull your car right up to the drop off spot off of Clybourn, just south of Fullerton.
Of course the Brown Elephants pickiness does make it a nicer place to shop, since the only the best stuff makes it to the sales floor. Especially great book selection, too.
Heh

Westmont, IL

#19 Feb 21, 2009
I've seen Salvation Army employees empty truck loads of donations right into their dumpsters. Vietnam Vets and American Cancer Society will collect and sell to the for profit thrift stores.

Join a Freecycle group and give your stuff directly to people who need it.
Dave

Chicago, IL

#20 Feb 28, 2009
This article doesn't say anything. More importantly, it has very little to do with its title. And the Trib wonders why it's losing readers...

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