when you hear the word ‘fundraiser’? For many people it’s probably the typical door-to-door sales of cookies, chocolate bars, holiday bouquets, or another event asking people to part with their hard-earned money. What makes this event unique is that, unlike traditional fundraising, it does NOT involve any sales! We’re simply asking the community to donate gently used clothing and household items. “One of our favourite things about the experience was getting to meet some incredible people and hear some great stories. We made the fundraiser about the people, instead of the money or the numbers, and we were thrilled to exceed our fundraising goal,” says LyRae Davis of the Back Pack Food Program in South Carolina, USA.
“A Used Clothing Drive Fundraiser was a fun way to raise money for our hockey team without asking people for money. It was also a great way to give back to our community,” says Debbie Cecutti of Newmarket Minor Hockey in Ontario, Canada. The Used Clothing Drive program is an eco-friendly fundraiser that supports both our local and global community. It’s a great opportunity to de-clutter those full closets and cupboards, as well as an environmentally conscious way to divert gently used clothing and household goods from our nation’s landfills.
We work with a variety of organizations across North America, including sports teams, charities, churches, and most often, schools. We believe introducing green teaching programs into the classroom from an early age is essential.
Most people don’t know the extent that textiles are wasted each year, and think little of throwing an old shirt in the trash. The average person will actually throw away over 50 lbs of clothing per year, all going into landfills. This is incredibly wasteful, as clothing is actually very recyclable. Recycled clothing can be resold or sent to developing countries. Items that aren’t wearable are broken down into fibres and turned into other materials.Extending the life of clothing, rather than letting them waste away and decompose in landfills, works to encourage the sensible use of our planet and reduces our carbon footprint. By reusing and recycling clothes we’re saving precious natural resources, reducing pollution, and preventing the emission of climate changing greenhouse gases. So every item of clothing saved is a big benefit for our planet. “I was drawn to this fundraiser because it was a win-win situation for our environment, community, and school,” says Carol Godbout of Andover Elementary in New Brunswick, Canada. “The project was awesome because it brought the entire community together!”
Across Canada, all donations are gratefully received by Salvation Army Thrift Stores, who are committed to ensuring your gently used clothing and household goods are reused and recycled. Proceeds generated from donations are used to support The Salvation Army’s programs, including homeless shelters, addiction rehabilitation, emergency relief services, and so much more.
Each year The Salvation Army Thrift Store diverts close to 65 million pounds of gently used clothing and household goods from local landfills. “It was such an amazing feeling to see the truck full with over 15,000 lbs of donations going to the Salvation Army Thrift Store. The support throughout the drive from the UCD team was amazing; I could not have done this without their help,” says Tanya Martin of Harriett Todd Public School in Ontario, Canada.
Used clothing fundraisers can help raise money for schools, sports teams, churches, charities, and more! “The Used Clothing Drive team is the best kind to work with, one that delivers on its promises,” says Bonnie Johnston of British Columbia, Canada, who led her fundraising committee in support of Rock Creek wildfire victims. For more success stories, read the story of Perth-Andover, a school community that raised over $8,000 for their breakfast program; Kuamini, a small but motivated charity that raised over $2,200 to help individuals in Kenya; and many more!
Check out Used Clothing Drive’s blog for articles about ethical shopping, sustainability, green living, slow fashion, and much more!