Can I Make a Clothing Donation to the American Red Cross?


Although 70% of adults give to some sort of charity each year, only 3% of the total collective income of U.S. adults is annually given to charity. While most people assume a charitable donation must mean a monetary gift, the fact is that there are many ways to give. For example, a Red Cross donation center also accepts clothing, appliances, and even vehicles in some places.

What’s So Bad About Throwing Old Clothes Away?

The Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, estimates that the average amount of waste in landfills averages out to each person throwing away about 10 pounds of textiles every year. Some people throw out more, and some may dispose of less. The point is that too much reusable material is ending up in landfills, and not in donation centers. Here are a few tips on how you can do something about it.

Does the American Red Cross Take Different Types of Donations?

While they are usually associated with blood and plasma donations, Red Cross clothes donations are also accepted. The organization prefers to pick-up large donations instead of accepting small individual donations at their locations. Some locations will even accept used automobiles for resell. A Red Cross donation center is more likely to be found in Missouri or Illinois. There is a list of drop-box locations on the American Red Cross donations page for guidance.

What Condition Do Items Need to Be In to Be Accepted For Donation?

Donations do not need to be pristine or still have the tags attached. The term “gently used” means that the garment is free of stains, smells, rips, tears, and is generally not falling apart at the seams. An easy method to distinguish what is acceptable for donation and what is not is to ask yourself if you would wear the item outside. If not, is it because the item is out of fashion? Or is it because you would look sloppy? An affirmative to the second option is a sign the garment is beyond a second life in a thrift store.

What Is the Benefit to Making a Donation to a Center?

Donating older clothing items is preferred over simply throwing them away. For one, the textiles that end up in landfills are recyclable nearly 95% of the time. This enormous waste is largely preventable. Secondly, donations to an accredited charity are tax-deductible for the estimated amount of the items donated.

A Red Cross donation center is only one of many charities that accept clothing donations. In fact, many charities even offer pick up services. When giving back to the community is this easy, it’s possible for nearly everyone to practice generous giving.

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