To the editor:
Area residents have new options available to them for donating their used clothing. Donation options provide great benefit to many people. First and foremost, donating used clothing keeps it from filling the landfills. The EPA estimates that Americans create as much as 12.4 million pounds of textile waste each year. The EPA suggests that 85 percent of those textiles end up in landfills. Secondly, donated items add to the wardrobes of others who choose to, or cannot afford to, purchase new clothing. When possible it is always best to extend the life of anything made. Thirdly, the exchange; the sorting and marketing of secondhand clothing can be of financial benefit to others and create local jobs.
Many nonprofits have invested in manpower, store fronts and equipment for the sake of reselling secondhand goods. For years these nonprofits have benefited from generous contributions of local residents to support their missions. Many underprivileged people have gained valuable skills working in these retail stores sorting and selling used items. Much needed revenue has been generated to support the missions of these nonprofits.
Opportunity Village has successfully operated a thrift store in Clear Lake for 40 years. After recently merging with Northwoods Living in Fort Dodge, Opportunity Village opened a second thrift store at 12 N 25th St., Fort Dodge. A drive-through drop-off is located along the south side of our store. Our staff and trainees will gladly assist with donations of used items. Donations will be sold at the Fort Dodge Store.
Recently North Iowans have an additional option for donating used clothing. Green and white USAgain collection boxes have been distributed throughout the state. USAgain is a private, profit-generating enterprise based in Chicago, Ill. Through drop-boxes it collects secondhand clothing and then resells on the wholesale level to markets around the world. While both options keep textiles out of the landfills, only the local nonprofit option supports local causes and strengthens the local economy through job development and affordable clothing.
I hope people will choose to support their local nonprofits by donating accordingly. Doing so will enhance the quality of life in Iowa.
Chief Development Officer