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“I have stacks and stacks of clothes to donate but I don’t have a car”

by Prince Of Petworth October 12, 2016 at 3:45 pm 43 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user Thomas Dooley

“Dear PoPville,

Since we are transitioning from Summer to Fall/Winter, I’ve done a fair bit of spring cleaning meaning I have stacks and stacks of clothes to donate. I don’t have a car but I guess I could Uber the clothes somewhere. However, is there a “goodwill” service that will come pick up donations? If not, where should I be donating my old clothes to? Something that’s not a scam like red cross. All thoughts and recs welcome!”

  • Kevin

    Purple Heart will do front porch pickups. No need to be home!

  • melissa

    There are tons of places that do pickup. Goodwill, LUPUS,Veterans orgs.

    Just google “pickup donations DC” without the quotes.

  • Kon8th

    Salvation Army picks up and has a really easy to use online system:

    I’ve used this several times now and have no complaints.

  • georgetowner

    Under the influence of Marie Kondo, I’ve donated maybe two dozen boxes of clothing and other stuff to Vietnam Veterans of America this year alone. You leave stuff on your doorstep, it magically disappears, and a receipt wafts through your mail slot. Easy!

  • cre

    ThreadUp is a great resource. They will send you a kit for you to sell clothes and they recycle everything not sold. A majority of the items that go to goodwill get thrown away but ThreadUp actually will recycle clothes, shoes, bags, etc. https://www.thredup.com/p/cleanout

    • textdoc

      But ThredUp is not (as far as I can tell) a charitable organization. It seems like the OP wants the clothes to go for a good cause, not just to get them out of the house.
      My understanding had been that for clothes that aren’t suitable for resale, Goodwill sells them to what’s known as the “rag industry,” where the fabric is used for other purposes.
      Goodwill DC’s website says: “At times, we also sell excess donations to other Goodwill organizations and salvage dealers, with the money generated staying locally to help Washington area residents get jobs.”

    • textdoc

      There might be more information on the ThredUp site, but it won’t let me view the content unless I join or log in.

  • anon

    If you have nice items that you would prefer to sell at a consignment store, you can sign up for Thredup.com, they send you a huge pre-paid bag to mail your items to them. For clothing donations, there are lots of those clothing bins around town, keep your eyes open and there may be one near you.

    • Anon

      Clothing bins are mostly for a for-profit organization

      • [rrrrr]

        Everyone I’ve ever used in DC is planet aid, which is a C3

        • [rrrrr]

          Hah although scrolling even a few comments down reveals it’s a problematic C3.

          • anon

            The Salvation Army is also problematic if you aren’t virulently anti-gay people.

          • textdoc

            Anon 5:24 — Not really. See links below.

    • urbanengineer

      The clothing recycling company has a bunch of bins in the area and they’re a good company. I donate all my clothing and shoes to them.

  • anon

    The organizations people mentioned are great if you don’t mind waiting a couple of weeks. (Purple Heart has had the shortest wait time in my experience). If you need it gone yesterday, you can hire someone on Handy/TaskRabbit to pick it up from your house and drive it to Goodwill.

    • Hill Denizen

      You can also rent a car2go to drive it out there. I think they’re still offering $10/hr rates.

  • anon

    Please do NOT donate to Planet Aid (those yellow bins conveninetly located all over). It is a strange cult-ish organization that is scamming poor Africans!



    • textdoc

      See also (from February 2001):
      www . washingtoncitypaper . com /news/article/13021587/outside-the-box

  • michelle

    Depending on where you live, it might be a short Uber ride to Martha’s Table/Martha’s Outfitters (http://marthastable.org/), which collects gently-used clothing and housewares at two locations:

    Martha’s Outfitters NW
    2122 14th Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20009

    Operating Hours
    Monday-Saturday 12pm–6pm
    Donations accepted 7:30am–6pm
    Closed Sundays

    Martha’s Outfitters MLK
    2204 Martin Luther King Ave. SE
    Washington, DC 20020

    Operating Hours
    Monday-Friday 11:00am–5:00pm
    Donations accepted 10:00am–5:00pm
    Closed Saturdays and Sundays

    • pchip

      2nd Martha’s Table, my preferred donation place. I just Ubered a trunkful of clothes, bags, and housewares last week. Cost me about $15 to get from Old Town to there, then took metro home.

    • Linc Park SE

      3rd Martha’s Table
      also N Street Village for Women’s clothing

  • Rich

    SOME (So Others May Eat) is a short walk from the G2 Metrobus.

  • Lindy

    A friend recently told me about Give Back Box (https://www.givebackbox.com/faq). You can print shipping labels (paid for by underwriters) and your donation will be picked up from home and routed to the nearest participating Goodwill.

  • Contessa of Cleveland Park

    H&M accepts clothes for recycling and will give you a small discount coupon in return (which I don’t even bother accepting; I don’t like “fast fashion”). True, H&M isn’t a charity, but if your main goal is to be “green” it’s a reasonable option. Several H&Ms, such as Friendship Heights and Union Station, are right atop Metro stations near other retail and attractions, so it’s practical for you to schlep your clothes there in several trips if you’re heading there anyway.


  • AsAMother

    Which organizations do pickup that don’t discriminate against the LGBT community the way the Salvation Army does?

  • Deborah

    If you want to make sure the donated items will go to clothe people in need, check out http://www.breadforthecity.org/services/clothing/

  • Related question: I have a ton of maternity clothes that I won’t use again, since we’re one and done. I’d love to donate to a local organization that provides services to pregnant teens or something similar. Any ideas?

    • Euclid

      Try Mary’s Center. They provide maternity care also to those who can’t pay.

    • Becky Tomer

      DC Family Health & Birth Center is a great spot for maternity and baby clothes donation.

  • kate900

    Depending on where you live, there are lots of places in DC that may be walkable – Martha’s Table, Mary’s Center, and probably others. P.S. Red Cross is not a scam.

  • anonacostia

    This isn’t necessarily for donations, but folks should also check out freecycle. Give things away, find cool things, and keep things out of the landfill! https://groups.freecycle.org/group/WashingtonDC/posts/all

  • HaileUnlikely

    It depends what you are trying to achieve. I donate to my local thrift store on Georgia Avenue. Sure, they are not necessarily a charity per se, but they hire local people and perform a valuable service by re-selling perfectly good used clothes at very low prices, which is a great benefit to lots of people in the community who aren’t actively seeking donations but also can’t afford to pay full price for new clothes.

  • anon

    Along the same lines, what do you do with worn out and torn clothing that can’t be resold to wear, but you want to make sure it gets to a place to recycle the materials? The Goodwill website asks for clothing that is in wearable condition.

    • Anonther

      I’ve been able to get rid of some things via freecycle. I’ve given old jeans to quilters (they love the worn, soft denim!) and someone was happy to take a box of old tshirts (probably for cleaning rags). I used to live near a place that recycled cloth, that was a great resource, I would also like to know if there’s something like that around here.

    • anon

      H&M recycles the fabric. You can drop it off at any store.

  • HillEaster

    Truly curious what makes the OP think Red Cross is a scam?

    • Anonymous

      +1 (I didn’t get that comment either.)

  • rockcreekresident

    This doesn’t help with the pickup question, but if you have professional clothing to donate, Suited for Change and A Wider Circle both have workforce development programs and help set people up with clothing for interviews.

  • TropicBird

    National Children’s Center will pick up toys, clothes and household items including stuff like Christmas decorations from your porch. Call Value Village in Hyattsville. We also have gotten calls from the Lupus Foundation and VVA.


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