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Gifts for the Homeless, Inc.
Department Number 0046
Washington, DC 20073-0046

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Archived Banding Together Articles
Archived Clothing Drive Articles
November 14th, 2014 at 11:16 pm

We are grateful for the DC area law firms that generously support and participate in our annual used clothing drive each year.  One major way that law firms assist with the drive is by conducting their own local (or “feeder”) clothing drives in their offices prior to the GFTH used clothing drive event — this year, on Friday, December 5th through Sunday, December 7th.  The support enables us to receive nice clothing that will be appreciated and used by less fortunate members of the local community who access services from 65+ area shelters, food providers, and other organizations that receive and distribute our donations.

When you start getting ready for our drive is entirely up to your firm, but you it is best to plan on concluding your drive and delivering your collections to our central sorting site on Friday, December 5th.  There are a variety of creative ways to promote the drive to your employees and staff to maximize donations — the possibilities are endless.  We also encourage firms in shared buildings to ask their fellow firms and commercial neighbors to contribute to their drive.  Not only does that help GFTH and those who we serve, but it also builds positive relationships with others in the local business community.

What Do We Accept?

Above all, our greatest need is for warm winter clothing, but we will accept all types of clothing:  business, casual, coats, sweaters, sweats, long and short-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes and socks, hats and gloves.  But, no underwear or swimwear.

The clothing can be for men, women or children, including infants and toddlers!  It should be gently worn, clean, and free of rips and tears.  Our philosophy is:  if we wouldn’t wear it, we wouldn’t expect a homeless person to wear it either.   Also note that because we have a large NEW clothing program, supported by your monetary donations, we do not encourage individuals to go out and purchase any NEW clothing to donate to this USED clothing drive.  We get much better deals buying in bulk from clothing manufacturers than any individual can buying retail.

We also accept:  sleeping bags and blankets, travel-sized toiletries, sheets and pillowcases, towels, luggage, toys, children’s books, and small household items (like dishes, silverware, pots and pans, placemats, etc. — but no larger appliances like TVs or microwaves or furniture).   No food, please.

What is Presorting and Why is it Helpful?

Please know that one of the many great things about GFTH is that we strive to provide shelters with the very items that they need.  It is for that reason why GFTH Board and Leadership Council Members spend months in advance conducting outreach to homeless services provider organizations to determine who they serve (men, women, and/or children) and what types of items are needed (i.e., a men’s shelter may need men’s sweaters and sweats, but not men’s shoes or women’s clothing) so that they can be put to good use.  For this very reason, we have created a list of categories of items that we collect.

In order to help speed-up deliveries to the homeless services organizations during the course of the GFTH Annual Used Clothing Drive, we appreciate when law firms — particularly large ones that often have large amounts of generous donations — pre-sort by clothing category and bag the items collected in-house before they are dropped-off at the sorting site.  Pre-sorting can be fun — yes that is true!  At the tail end of collections, some firms will hold pre-sorting parties, provide pizza or snacks, and use the opportunity to spread some cheer in the office and spend meaningful non-billable hours with coworkers.

To help with your pre-sorting efforts, we present our 2014 categories below.  If you or your firm would like to participate in this year’s GFTH annual used clothing drive, please contact Joe at JEdmondson@foley.com  Go firms!

2014 clothing drive sorting catagories

 

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November 4th, 2014 at 8:58 pm
Jay is the tall guy with the red hat third from the left in the back row of the GFTH 2013 Board of Directors photo

Jay is the tall guy with the red hat third from the left in the back row of the GFTH 2013 Board of Directors photo

Jay Owen is a longtime member of the GFTH Board of Directors and is currently our Vice President.  He also has been recently recognized for providing generous pro bono legal services for members of the DC-area homeless community.  Here’s what Jay has to say about why he supports GFTH:

“When I think about my first involvement with GFTH, my thoughts inevitably turn to my sister in East Tennessee.  It is an odd thought, but the two are intertwined in my mind because she was injured in a car accident right around the time I first volunteered with GFTH, and the time I took off to be with her caused me to drop several GFTH projects that were, fortunately, picked up by others.  But, even more than being grateful that GFTH gave me a second chance, thinking about that time reminds me why GFTH is so important.  When Caroline was in her accident, we had dozens of people come by and help out in every imaginable way- the support structure was incredible and there is no way my family could have functioned without it.  It reminded me of how fortunate I am to have people like that around me, and how hard it must be for folks who do not have a similar support structure.  Every time I think about GFTH, and especially if I am feeling put upon because I had to spend an hour or two doing something, I try to remember how much I appreciated small gestures in my time of need.  Doing so reminds me that we are all dependent on others in our lives and that I should be grateful for the opportunity to repay a small portion of the kindness and blessings I have received in my life.”

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August 24th, 2014 at 8:28 pm

Brrrrr, the Capital Weather Gang has predicted that the Washington, DC metro area may experience another incredibly cold winter weather season, which means warm winter clothing needs for the area homeless may be on the rise.  Gifts for the Homeless will answer that call with our annual used clothing drive being held from Friday, December 5 through Sunday, December 7, 2014.

We are in need of veteran and new donors and volunteers to join us to help collect, sort and distribute massive amounts of used clothing to the many area shelters that we serve. Our drive will run similar to past drives (last year we collected and distributed nearly 5,000 large bags of used clothing to over 60 area shelters and other homeless service providers), so please check out our FAQs and past drive articles on the “Used Clothing Drive” page on the drop-down menu of our “Clothing Drive” tab on the top of our website for more info.

It’s never too early to get started on preparing for the drive, especially as the weather starts to cool down and we begin to transition to warmer clothing.  Here are some ways that you can help right now:

  • Head over here to sign-up online to volunteer for the 2014 Gifts for the Homeless annual used clothing drive.  We appreciate as much time as you can to volunteer, whether for a few hours, one day or even two or three days.  Volunteer opportunities range from sorting and bagging clothing donations to helping deliver them directly to the organizations that we serve in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.
  • Begin to look through your closets and drawers (and anywhere else) to see what you can designate for our donations.  We unfortunately cannot accept used clothing donations prior to the drive weekend, but hope you can tag the clothing or find some space to set it aside until donation time comes around during the first weekend of December.  Examples of items that we accept are on our FAQ page larger sized men’s clothing is always high in demand.
  • Start telling your employers (including law firms and other legally-focused organizations), coworkers, friends, family, neighbors and others who you know about the drive, especially that we are in need of clothing donations and volunteers and how they can get started.

We are excited to hold the drive again this year!  Thanks for your dedication and support!

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June 24th, 2014 at 7:21 am

DC’s Homeless are waiting for clothing.  Gifts for the Homeless will answer that call, but only with your support.  Foley & Lardner LLP is here to help with its most excellent band “Speak No Evil” — VOTE/DONATE at www.crowdrise.com/speaksnoevil (don’t forget the extra “s” — that’s what makes them sassy!).  Get a taste of the band from checking out a past year’s performance on you tube (the band was formerly known as Jazz Ipsa Loquitur).

foley

 

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June 19th, 2014 at 10:09 pm

Will they be able to stay at the top this year? is the big question that the other 17 bands and Banding Together fans want to know.  The Unnamed Party’s members come from triple threat Paul Hastings, Hunton & Williams, and Arent Fox.  The Unnamed Party was crowned and bestowed the trophy for the top band of the year at our 2013 charity benefit concert.  Head over to their crowdrise page before the show to aid their quest to remain the best of the best and come rock out with them at the big show on Thursday, June 26th at the Black Cat.

Want to get a taste of what you might hear at this year’s show — check them out on youtube!

 

unnamed2

 

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