Everything you Ever Wanted to Know About Donating to the Red Cross

Everything you Ever Wanted to Know About Donating to the Red Cross

If you’re looking for a place do donate clothes, food, emergency supplies, or blood, we highly recommend making those donations American Red Cross donations. The American Red Cross was founded in 1881 by famed nurse Clara Barton, and for 137 years, has been dedicated to mitigating a vast range of human suffering across the globe.

The Red Cross deploys a network of over 8 million volunteers across war zones, disaster areas, and less fraught environments, such as community blood banks. It is the 13th biggest U.S. nonprofit charity organization, and received close to 7 million in private gifts in 2014. In fact, it is extremely significant that American Red Cross donations are mostly private donations, as this makes the nonprofit resilient to government funding that dries up or “mission capture” by large grants that don’t really fit with the organization’s mission.

But What Should I Donate?
There are many types of useful American Red Cross donations, but probably one of your best bets is clothing donation. According to research conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans throw away about 10 pounds of clothing each year per person. Fortuitously, clothing is one of the most urgent needs across the globe during disasters, humanitarian crises, and for the Red Cross’s work with the homeless population. We’re betting if you dig through your closet today, you could come up with a few things to let go of at your local clothing donation center.

What are Some Benefits of Donating?
Fully 70% of Americans donate something to charities every year — so you have to ask yourself, in addition to the good feelings, what’s in it for them? Well, the good news is, your next American Red Cross donations are tax deductible based on their value, which is a direct incentive to give more. Additionally, donating to charity in this way is good role modeling for your family and for your community.

How do I Donate if I’m Short on Time or Don’t Have Transportation?
We’re glad you asked! Most American Red Cross centers feature some form of Red Cross pickup. Google your local chapter and see if they have an option where a volunteer comes to your home or business to pick up your donations. Many chapters also have annual or bi-annual events for donation, so you can save the date in advance. Finally, we’re betting the Red Cross has set up drop-off bins at key community centers in your area, so look around for those the next time donating clothes comes to the forefront of your mind.

How Does the Red Cross use my Clothing Donation?
Depending on the chapter, the clothing, and the need, this varies. Sometimes, Red Cross clothing is cleaned and given directly to those in need, whether these be the chronically homeless, recent refugees or asylum seekers, hurricane victims — you name it. Other times, the clothing in these bins is sold at local thrift stores, and the proceeds go to a Red Cross disaster relief fund that works to buy much-needed emergency and medical supplies. Rest assured, whatever you donate, it will be put to good and appropriate use by the Red Cross.

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