ChiDopers: Favorite clothing donation charities?

In a stunning display of symbolism of the excesses of American society, last week the bracket holding up rod in my closet broke off the wall. In moving everything to the sofa while the closet was being repaired, I realized just how much crap was in there, and that I haven’t worn some of it in years.

It’s in good condition, and the stuff that I don’t wear tends to be things like dressy work clothes, since my office is now business casual. Often I give stuff to my mom or sister, but they never wear suits anymore either.

There is a Salvation Army 2 blocks from my place, but I have this bizarre need to find good homes for unwanted items rather than just ditching them at the first opportunity - I just can’t take my practically new condition stuff and dump it amongst the ratty T-shirts and stretched-out sweaters. I know there are some nonprofits that specialize in things like preparing welfare recipients for work, and solicit donations of office-appropriate clothing. Anyone have any favorites? Or ones that provide prom dresses for low-income high school girls - there are a couple of formal things in the pile, too. Other ideas welcome.

Don’t overlook Dress For Success, which accepts donations of gently-used ladies clothing. Dress For Success helps disadvantaged women reenter the workforce by providing clothes appropriate for business settings. There’s an affliate in Chicago, and 3 others elsewhere in Illinois.

Eva, have you thought of Women In Need Growing Stronger (WINGS)? A google search can pull 'em up real quick - that’s who I donate all my families clothes to - they’ve done so much for abused women and their children, I can’t say enough good things about them.

Back when my girls were little and we didn’t have either the pot, or the window to throw it out of, each year the highlight of the summer was the Salvation Army’s “sleep away” camp. It was a week long overnight camp in which financially strapped families could send their kids, at very little if any cost to the family. Some years, if it hadn’t been for the Salvation Army camp, my girls would have had nothing to look forward to during the summer.

Year later, we’re a little better off than when they were kids. Needless to say, the Salvation Army gets almost everything we have to donate that we no longer need/use.

They also have other programs, besides their thrift stores. The one in our area also assists families in the area obtain household items (like beds, furniture, cook ware, etc.) that come in through donated items. It wouldn’t surprise me if they also assisted in job searches as well.

The Salvation Army night away camps (as my kids would call them) are throughout the US.

I’m very, very familiar with Salvation Army; when I was a kid, for several years my mom ran an emergency social services program there. However, because of the circumstances under which she lost that job, I have some issues with them. I know they do some great work, but in this particular circumstance I prefer to direct my donation elsewhere.