Can I Make Clothing Donations to the Red Cross?

Red cross clothes donation

About 70% of Americans make a donation each year, but are you one of them? Popular choices include Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and Red Cross donations. While many people are familiar with making blood donations to the Red Cross, you can also make clothing donations as well. For those who are unable for one reason or another to donate blood, used clothing donations are another alternative.

I’ve Never Donated Clothes Before. What Do I Do?

Once you’ve experienced how easy and simple it is to donate clothes you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. Red Cross donations can actually be dropped off at free-standing locations. They’re easy to spot: look for a bright green box in a public parking lot labeled “GreenBox.” The Red Cross website lists these locations on their donations page, or you can arrange a pickup instead.

What Can I Donate?

You can donate any clothing items so long as they are in good condition or unworn. Good condition means that the item was worn, but well taken care of during usage. The commonly used term is “gently used.” An item is gently used if it has obviously been worn in that it shows some fading, and is softened from cleaning. An item that is stained, has rips or tears, or is missing features such as buttons or beading is not suitable for Red Cross donations.

The following is appropriate for donations:

    -Dressier items such as suits, wedding dresses, etc.

The following are not appropriate:


These items are not appropriate because they have a high potential of being unclean. The is a likelihood of the absorption of bodily fluids, which can not be cleaned, or sanitized, satisfactorily. It’s because they are made with textiles. Other textile items such as the ones listed above are fine.

I Don’t Have Time to Drop This Stuff Off.

If there isn’t a dropbox location near you, or if you simply lack the time, make an appointment for a Red Cross clothing pickup. The charity’s website will provide you with possible dates and times to schedule your pickup. The only thing you’ll need to do is place the items outside on the day you’ve selected. Just make sure you have placed the clothing items in a box or strong bag. You don’t want anything to fall out, so pick one that is the right size.

Does My Donation Make a Difference?

While they aren’t of value to you, the articles of clothing you’re giving away could mean a lot to someone else. Consider those jeans your child recently outgrew: there’s a parent out there who is having trouble making ends meet and needs to find cheap clothing for their child. Or perhaps you have an old suit that is too small, or a dress that you’ll never wear again. It might be just the thing for someone who can’t afford to pay a couple hundred dollars for a similar item. About 14.3 million tons of used American textiles are distributed globally. That’s a far reach for a donation.

If you want to make a contribution, but are short on funds, consider donating some of your older clothing. First, check each item to make sure it’s gently used. Wash it if necessary, fold each item, and pack it away in a sturdy plastic bag. You can either drop it off at a location yourself, or schedule a pickup. Which ever way works best, you’ll be making a difference with what you are able to spare right now.

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