Why I Choose to Donate Clothes, Food, etc. for the Holidays
As holiday season quickly rolls up on us, it’s a perfect time to think about gratitude and giving. If you’re looking for a way to show how thankful you are for all of the wonderful things you have in life – be it family, friends, health, or even material things – donations are a great display of appreciation. There are always opportunities to donate money to a cause that you support, but since the holiday season means ‘winter’ and ‘cold’, I wanted to make it easy for you to find a place to donate things like food or clothing such as socks, pants, jackets, hats and gloves, etc. in your metro area.
It’s not always easy to give, especially when you don’t “have it all”. But as a person who was been down and out, I can’t express enough what each bit of food or article of warm clothing means to its recipient. It’s a tear-jerking type of appreciation.
Donating is one of the most selfless acts we as human beings can undertake. I’ll never forget the story that led me to being a food and clothing donor:
On a freezing cold day in the West Village, NYC, I was walking down 8th Street near 6th Avenue – a common area that homeless and beggars used to gather (I’m talking ‘90s here…). I saw a boy, probably age 15 or so, obviously strung out, homeless, hungry, sick, etc. He was lying in the middle of the sidewalk, staring up beyond the building tops, lips quivering; from an initial look, I’d say he probably wanted to be dead. It was Christmas Eve. I had never in my life given anything to the homeless before – to be honest, it was always a nuisance in my ignorant eyes. But seeing this young, lost boy made me realize that I’m in a state where I could actually give a little and it would help him more than it would hurt me.
That’s the philosophy that I base donations on – not how much will this hurt me (as long as its not crippling), but how much can I help someone in need.
I gave that boy a meal at Gray’s Papaya. It cost me $4 to fill not only his belly, but his heart. I couldn’t shelter him or do much more, but it seemed that there was a glimpse of hope in his soul that was born in that hot dog stand.
Here are some sites you can visit for both pick-up and drop-off donations, as well as find statistics: