Preparing for Giving Tuesday
2018 has been an incredible and rollercoaster year for me, and when I look back at the ups and downs, there is no question how lucky I am to have the support and love from family and friends. I am also conscious about how much growth has occurred this year both professionally and personally, but for me alone. In that sense, while I cherish the triumphs and am proud about overcoming obstacles, I can’t help but feel a sense of guilt when it comes to whether or not I am doing enough. Am I doing enough having all the choices that are available to me? Am I doing enough to help those that aren’t afforded those same choices?
I question how much time I should commit to the Medlare. I really enjoy all aspects (aside from the social media game) of this blog, but I debate whether this energy could be better served in other avenues or even if the blog itself is promoting poor consumer behavior. I don’t have those answers and am not sure when I will, but would love to hear your thoughts and what works for you.
In the meantime, I wanted to capture an activity I do several times a year, and ahead of Giving Tuesday expanded the process to highlight other ways to contribute.
If you couldn’t tell already, S and I have an affectionate relationship with updating our wardrobes and perusing apparel brands. Living that apartment size lifestyle and having to make room for a rambunctious dog, we’ve become routine about regularly cleaning out our closets. There are a multitude of ways to accomplish this, but these are some of our go-to’s (the links will take you to the company’s respective websites where you can search for locations in your area):
In-person donation drop-off - 501(c)(3) organizations
Goodwill: we are within walking distance of a Goodwill, which has been great because they accept an array of gently used (or new!) items. When we were registering for new kitchenware, we contacted them, and as long as our used items were in good condition, they were happy to accept them.
Dress for Success: this organization focuses on collecting work appropriate clothing for women. It’s also a great way for your office or group to band together for a clothing drive. Each affiliate organization will have their own specific policies on what is accepted so be sure to check out their site.
This article also provides a list of national organizations that accept item donations.
ThredUp: I have been long requesting a “Clean Out” bag from Thredup to help offset some of the money spent on brand name clothing. The company ships you a prelabeled bag, which you can fill to your heart’s content with women’s and children’s clothing/accessories. In my opinion, the payout and accepted items criteria have gotten much more constrained since I first started doing this process, but if you feel more compelled to get rid of items under the premise there is an associated value, this might be an easier way than outright donating. Items that are not accepted can be returned to you for $10 (make sure to check this option when you request the bag!); otherwise, ThredUp works with a partner to recycle your threads. And for those of you who are avid Reformation shoppers, up through Dec 31, 2018, ThredUp clean out bags requested from this link will return a 15% discount on Reformation upon processing. Note, items not accepted or returned to you will be donated on your behalf and are not eligible as a 501(c)(3) contribution.
The Real Real: for the luxury spirit animal, this online site allows you to buy and sell pre-owned designer apparel and accessories. I picked up a pair of Manolo’s for $100 last year and initiated a selling process for a wallet I no longer use (but realized upon writing this post I ghosted the lovely associate helping with that sale, sorry!!). The payout structure benefits those how have more to sell, but for those finding it hard to part ways with a pricier purchase, The Real Real can help.
Buffalo Exchange & Crossroads: both of these companies have locations dispersed across the US and accept men’s and women’s clothing. You are up to the discretion of the “appraiser” that day as they will sort through your bag with a definitive “yay” or “nay” so don’t be offended if you come away with $10 and the majority of your items being politely declined. When I lived in NYC, I used to start there and end up at the Goodwill or Housing Works to donate the rest of the items.
There are many organizations (including the 501(c)(3) orgs above) who rely on and make great contributions with the funds donated to them. Below are some resources to help discover where to give:
Facebook Giving Tuesday: love em or hate em, Facebook is doing their part in providing charities a platform to request and receive monetary donations. For this year’s Giving Tuesday, FB and Paypal have committed to match up to $7 million donated across eligible charities. The link also allows you to start a campaign of your own, with 501(c)(3) orgs being exempt from fundraising fees.
United Way & American Red Cross: 2018 has been a tough year for many impacted by disasters from hurricanes to wildfires. Both of this organizations help direct funds and supplies to assist communities.
Donors Choose: you can search for classroom projects to help teachers and students get the materials and funds needed to bring their ideas to life. You can filter projects by subject, which is a fun way to channel back into your inner child and remember your favorite subjects.
Local activity organizations: often times the cost of memberships to the public library, civic organizations, or museums come with different tiers of benefits and activities (and qualify as 501(c)(3) donations). Consider gifting these or snagging them for yourself. Some memberships I have donated for are the Commonwealth Club and the NY Public Library.
Last but not least, is time. I constantly feel pressed for time, whether it’s a deadline for work or catching the bus. But when I think about how wonderful 2018 has been, I want to make sure that I acknowledge 2019 from the lens that my time does not have to be used only for myself. When I wasn’t moving around, I felt like it was easier to commit my time to organizations and made excuses to not getting involved when I was temporarily living in a city. Now that we’re coming up on two years in San Francisco, I don’t think that excuse still stands and look to find local organizations to work with (please send your thoughts my way). If you’re in the New York area, NY Cares is a great place to start getting matched to an organization.
Cheers to the rest of 2018! Thank you for enduring my rambling thoughts thus far and look forward to hearing how you spend your Giving Tuesday and beyond ♡.
For more information on Giving Tuesday, please see the below links: