Millions of American soldiers put their lives on the line every day and in the line of duty, many servicemen and women are injured. There are an estimated 22 million military veterans living in the U.S. as of 2014 and of the 22 million, 3.8 million were living with a disability that came as a result of their military service.
Veterans deserve our help and many of them need a great deal of help. Around the U.S. there are many organizations like Purple Heart Pickup and Wounded Warrior Project who accept donations, which are then donated to military veterans and their families.
What may seem like junk to you can go a long way for veterans when it comes to donations. There are many reasons to donate clothing and to help veterans in general. Not only can people in need be helped, but everyday folks can cut down on clutter in their home and help the environment at the same time.
Keeping that in mind, here are five good reasons to consider a clothing donation and other items to veterans and to military families:
- The average American buys at least twice as many pieces of clothing as 20 years ago and only 15% of used clothing is donated on average.
- About 4.7 billion pounds of clothing are donated by Americans each year, but about 10.5 million tons of clothing end up in landfills annually.
- The average American throws away nearly 82 pounds of clothing, linens and textiles each year. Textiles account for 5% of municipal waste because only about 15% of them are ever recycled.
- Almost 100% of household textiles and clothing can be recycled regardless of condition. So for example, if you haven’t worn an item in six months, donating it might be a good option.
- In 2006, 2.5 billion pounds of fabric were kept from landfills by used-clothing purchases and 45% of recycled clothing is worn as secondhand clothing.
This may all seem like a pile of statistics, but it highlights the good things that can be done when you donate clothing. When you donate clothing, you’re helping people in need and putting essential items in the hands of those who need it.
Making charitable donations and donations of clothing can also have some tax benefits. Any charitable donation worth more than $250 (including donations of clothing and household items) will require a receipt to write off on your taxes. Keep in mind that items like a coffee maker or an overcoat have value in terms of a write-off. The IRS requires a qualified appraisal to be submitted with your tax return if you donate any single clothing item or household item that is not in good used condition or better and for which you donated more than $500.
Making donations to those in need, especially military veterans is something most folks seem to get on board with. More than $350 billion was made in charitable donations in 2014. Social media has played an important role in recent years in terms of donations. A majority (70%) of social media users would take some kind of action in response to a friend posting a story about making a charitable donation.
If you want to donate clothing, donate money or do something else to help veterans, there are many organizations that can help. Make sure before you donate that you know where the money’s going so it winds up in the hands of those who need it.
Donations can be a huge help to military families and veterans, but there are many other things a person can do to show support:
- You can volunteer to place flag on grave sites.
- You can reach out to local military families in your community.
- You can visit with military families or veterans to offer a helping hand.
- You can go an old-fashioned route and write a letter of thanks to a family or a veteran.
There are a lot of things the average person can do to help military veterans and those in need. Whether you donate clothing, money, household items or time to help veterans, you’re doing a good deed for those who need it. Don’t be afraid to lend a helping hand. You never know how much it might be appreciated.