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!