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Donate to GFTHPlease help us continue to clothe the homeless by making an online contribution to our cause.

For USPS deliveries please send checks to:
Gifts for the Homeless, Inc.
Department Number 0046
Washington, DC 20073-0046

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Archived Banding Together Articles
Archived Clothing Drive Articles
December 4th, 2014 at 7:50 pm

Vinson & Elkins LLP is gearing up for the 2014 Gifts for the Homeless Clothing Drive!  From warm hats and sweaters to professional suits and full length coats, the attorneys and staff at V&E are cleaning out their closets to help those who are less fortunate.  The evidence is right here before your eyes.  They also have on-site volunteers ready to roll up their sleeves and begin sorting clothes this coming Friday morning.  V&E is a great example of what the local legal community can do to help the homeless.  We look forward to receiving their generous donations and working side by side with their volunteers this coming weekend.

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December 4th, 2014 at 6:48 am

Guest contribution from a dedicated anonymous volunteer of GFTH:

I started volunteering with GFTH during their Annual Clothing Drive in 2013.  It was during finals period of my 1L year in law school and I was feeling incredibly stressed out, doubting myself with the age old question, “What am I doing here?!”

After reading an email from school that mentioned needing volunteers for a clothing drive to help the homeless, I figured that a few hours away from my books would do me some good.  It did so much more than that.  I became part of an amazing group of people who go above and beyond to answer a call that sometimes seems insurmountable but stares back at us every day we go to work and school in the DMV area.

I remember what it was like to be homeless in high school.  The grief, the feeling of fear that I might not be able to graduate and go on to college.  The feeling that you are less than a whole person, which feels all too real when you are simply looking for shelter.

More often than not, it’s too easy to forget to be “human” or get caught up in “me, me, me,” when we are busy with our own lives.  But, every interaction with GFTH is a solid reminder that there is kindness in the world, and that we should do whatever we can to spread it.  It reminds me why I am here.

So, every time I post a flyer, spread the word about donations, sort a bag of clothing or even tweet for an event – I remember that being homeless doesn’t mean hopeless.  Giving back through GFTH is my way of paying it forward and hoping, that just maybe, that gently used suit will help someone get back on their feet in time for the New Year.

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December 3rd, 2014 at 7:13 am

This is an article from guest blogger William J. Kuennen, MSW, Program Director, Back on My Feet Washington, DC, a national for-purpose 501(c)3 organization that uses running to help those experiencing homelessness change the way they see themselves so they can make real change in their lives that results in employment and independent living.   GFTH has partnered with BOMFDC over the last several years to provide essential new clothing to their runners and they have been a terrific supporter of our annual Used Clothing Drive.

This coming Friday, December 5th, Back on My Feet Staff, volunteers, and members will join Gifts for the Homeless at the annual clothing drive. We are excited to once again volunteer for this awesome cause to aid the hundreds of homeless families in DC. This is my 3rd year volunteering and my favorite aspect of this opportunity is the ability for our program members to give back. You see, the members of our program who will be volunteering are homeless themselves. Despite having very little, our members routinely come out to volunteer at events and have always enjoyed volunteering with Gifts for the Homeless. Many members have expressed how great they feel to be able to give back to the community and how volunteering offers them a better understanding of the commitment and effort our own volunteers provide for them. Our members are working hard in the Back on My Feet program and through the program are beginning to feel more and more self worth. The clothing drive with Gifts for The Homeless allows our members to further add to their personal growth by allowing them a unique experience to join the multitude of other volunteers to give back to those in need. Thank you Gifts for The Homeless for the opportunity to provide our members with an amazing experience to further their growth towards getting back on their feet!

BOMF DC with new GFTH fleece jacket  purchases that were donated during the 2013 GFTH Annual Used Clothing Drive

BOMF DC with new GFTH fleece jacket purchases that were donated during the 2013 GFTH Annual Used Clothing Drive

 

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November 30th, 2014 at 8:31 pm

Gifts for the Homeless is pleased to announce that we donated more than $3,500 worth of brand new socks, blankets, underwear and men’s winter coats for distribution at Homeless Resource Day sponsored by the Montgomery County Maryland Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday, November 13, 2014.  “Because we work with wholesalers who give us deep discounts on bulk purchases, GFTH is able to stretch every dollar of every donation we receive,” said Gerri Walsh, GFTH Vice President for new clothing.  “And the terrific network of shelters, soup kitchens and outreach coordinators we serve make sure the warm clothing we purchase gets to those who need it most.”  More information about this wonderful annual event, including goods and services donated by other organizations, may be found here and here.

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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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