In the wake of the flooding that hit Baton Rouge months ago, I went digging through my closet to find things I could donate to someone who might have lost it all.  I don’t know where those clothes ended up, but it was an enlightening experience for me.

When I first began looking through my closet for items to donate, I began to be conscious of the following:

  1. My natural inclination was to go through and choose things that I didn’t care to wear–rather selfish.
  2. Following through on no. 1 would have resulted in some pretty mismatched, maybe even half-naked outfits–not helpful.
  3. I had A LOT of things in my closet that I genuinely “liked” but hardly, or never, wore–very wasteful.
  4. Many of the things still with tags were purchased from Forever21 or on sale–probably not the most ethical purchases.

So upon my revelations, I decided to change my tactics:

  1. I began pulling anything that had a tag.  If it was a gift, I hung it back up in addition to a few pieces that were just out of season or that I sincerely intended to wear.
  2. Evaluating what remained, which was quite a bit, I started pulling additional rarely-worn pieces in pristine condition.
  3. I compiled complete outfits with what I pulled and supplemented with other items that weren’t as easy to give away if there was a gap.
  4. Acknowledging that different occasions and walks of life call for different clothes, I tried to diversify the outfits to include different purposes–workouts, days at the office, evenings out, etc.

And you know what?  I wish I had adopted this methodology of donating a long time ago.  What good is a bag of clothes if you can’t assemble an outfit.

All this to say… if you have the opportunity to give back to your community or someone in need, do so with open hands.  

Don’t be stingy and pass off things that you’ve already gotten your share of.  Be generous, and pass along something that you’d be proud to use or wear–something that someone can call his or her own.  (Or give money.  Sometimes that’s really what’s needed the most.)

 

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