Hello, everyone. I want to share some thoughts about how each of us can help meet the needs of others in our community by carefully choosing where to donate items we no longer need, such as clothing and other household goods.
For me, donating money to charities is pretty straightforward. I regularly donate to charities that support causes that mean something to me personally. For instance, I donate money for cancer research since my father and best friend died of cancer. I also give money to environmental groups because I want my grandchildren to live on a healthy planet. Those donations make me feel like I am helping and/or honoring the people I care about most.
I didn’t really think about the value of the used items I donate until I started volunteering at ECA thrift shop. I had been choosing the organization that received them based on the convenience of their location or the ease of dropping them off. I never stopped to consider that donating used goods is almost the same as donating money (the recipient of my used goods turns the goods into money by selling them). After observing this process at ECA thrift shop, I realized that I wanted to have a say in how that money would be used. I wanted it to support causes that I believe in and help people in need. So I did some research.
As far as I know, there are four thrift shops in Kirkland:
There are two main criteria that I think should be considered when deciding where to donate used goods:
1) The type of charitable work the organization does or supports
2) The percentage of its revenue that goes to that charitable work.
According to the American Institute of Philanthropy, a highly efficient, charitable organization usually spends about 75 percent (or more) of its total revenue on charitable programs and the remaining 25 percent on general administration and fundraising.
Here is what I discovered about the four Kirkland thrift stores:
When researching, I found that reading the website of each organization was very helpful. With this information, I can make a much better informed decision about where to donate my used goods.
If you have the time and interest, you could call or email these organizations and ask about anything you wanted to know but couldn’t find online. And, if you don’t mind driving to another nearby town to donate your items, you could research some of the other great Eastside or Seattle area thrift shops.
The point is, carefully choosing where to donate all of my used clothes and household goods enables me to help others in our community in ways that are meaningful to me. I encourage you all to do the same.
Susan is a frequent volunteer at Eastside Community Aid Thrift Shop, where she sorts, prices, and stocks merchandise to her heart's content. Before retirement, she owned and operated a consignment shop for women's plus size clothing in Seattle. Through trial and error and talking with customers, she learned a thing or two. An avid "thrift shopper," Susan loves to buy clothing, especially when she gets good quality and value for her money.
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Eastside Community Aid
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