How to Donate Clothing to Veterans

by Larry Parr

The idea of donating clothing to veterans can provide a win/win situation for all involved. The person donating the clothing frees up closet or storage space and gets a tax deduction while the veterans benefit from either the use of the clothing itself or the money it receives from selling the donations. Plus the person making the donation can feel justifiably good about what they have done. The problem is that many organizations that claim to provide for the military pass little of the donations on to the people they claim to be helping. So how can you tell the good charities from the bad? One way is to donate locally. Call local veteran's groups and ask how they would like donations made. Another solution is to make your donation to the veterans' charities that have been researched by Charity Navigator and found to actually pass the bulk of their collections along to veterans.

Pick out the clothing you wish to donate and sort it into groups; i.e., mens' clothing, womens' clothing, childrens' clothing, winter clothing, summer clothing.

Wash all clothing. This is in important step. Some charitable organizations no longer accept clothing because much of it comes to them in a filthy state.

Package all clothing according to the groups that you established in Step 1. Clothing may be packaged in plastic trash bags or in cardboard boxes.

Attach easily-read labels to each package identifying the type of clothing in the package, such as "Mens' Summer Clothing" or "Childrens' Winter Clothing."

Choose a charity. Either phone local veteran's groups and ask them how to make donations or contact one of the veteran's charities that is highly rated by Charity Navigator (see the References link below). Make arrangements for the charity to pick up your donations.

Set your donations out at the designated place on the agreed-upon day so the charity workers can easily collect your donations. Make certain that they provide you with a receipt for tax purposes.

Tip

  • Give to local groups when possible rather than to out-of-state collection agencies which claim to give the money to veterans groups.

Warning

  • -Do not make donations to people who call over the phone claiming to represent veterans. -Always research any charity to determine what percentage of their collections goes toward fund raising and administrative costs and how much actually gets to the intended recipients. Charity Navigator can help with your research.

Items you will need

  • Clothing to donate

About the Author

Larry Parr has been a full-time professional freelance writer for more than 30 years. For 25 years he wrote cartoons for television, everything from "Smurfs" to "Spider-Man." Today Parr train dogs and write articles on a variety of topics for websites worldwide.

Photo Credits

  • Monkey Business Images Ltd/Valueline/Getty Images