As I was putting away my laundry today, I realized I have too much stuff. From things I’ve held onto for years, to things I’ve been given in exchange for styling & reviewing, I have so much more clothing than I can possibly wear in a year. I’m tremendously blessed to have a productive blog and receive as much as as I do as compensation for my work, but I want to give back to those in need in my community who need it most. I’ve always regularly donated my clothing, but I’ve decided I’m going to be more intentional about it. Today I pulled out more than 35 items of clothing that all look brand new, and I either haven’t worn or won’t wear again. We also recently cleaned out our pantry, cupboards, and larder and will be donating all of the new, sealed foods that we won’t be using. I’m going to challenge myself to set aside at least one thing every day each month to bring to a woman’s shelter at the end of each month, for the rest of the year, and I’m already most of the way there! While donating as much as I will be may not be feasible for everyone, I challenge you to donate 5 (or more) items to a local women’s shelter or homeless shelters and then challenge 5 of your friends to do the same! I’m calling it my 5×5 Donation Challenge! Read on for tips on what should and shouldn’t be donated, and be sure to post a photo on either FB and IG to spread awareness of how many people are in shelters around the country who need our help (use hashtag 5x5donationchallenge if you’d like)!
Please call the shelter ahead of gathering these items to ask what they really need. If they don’t have anyone with a baby there at the moment, but need more hygiene items, you can maximize your impact by giving them what they’re short on currently. To find a reputable shelter in your area, a quick google search of “homeless/women’s shelters near me” will pull up a number of results!
If you are unable to donate 5 physical items, please consider donating 5 hours of your time instead!
-Clothing that is in wearable condition, free from stains (check for pit stains and makeup stains!), odors, holes, pilling, and hair.
-Items should be in good condition, and be something you’d be proud to wear.
-Anything with tags on it that’s older than 6 months.
-Anything that no longer fits you and is still in nice condition.
-Clothing appropriate for the coming season (jackets and layering items for cooler weather, shorts and tee shirts for warmer weather, etc.)
-Please launder items before donating and fold them neatly if possible. The recipients of your items may not have access to laundry facilities or an iron.
Most Needed Items:
-Winter Hats, gloves, and scarves
-Diapers and other baby care items
-Feminine Hygiene Products (unopened)
-Clean (ideally new!) socks
-Hygiene items such as deodorants, shampoo, toothpaste, tooth brushes, etc. These should, of course, be new and unused.
-Professional business attire for interviews
-Items with holes, stains, pilling, damaged clothing, etc.
-Things that are very out of style, or that people can’t wear on a regular basis (costumes, offensive clothing, etc. aren’t things that people will likely wear often.)
Above all, remember that your passing your items on to someone who needs them more than you do!
Let’s spread this challenge to help those of us who are down on our luck the way we’d want someone to help us in our time of need.
Let me know in the comments below if you’ll be participating in this, and share this using #5x5donationchallenge to help spread the word!
Jessica Malinowski says