The Corona days of summer caused camps to cancel and ruined vacation plans; as a result, many families are opting to stay home and complete home renovation projects. One easy project to complete is operation closet clean-out. Each family member can pitch in and participate by cleaning out his/her personal closet and organizing into three piles: recycle, donate, and keep.

Clothes that still fit after the post “quarantine 15” should be neatly hung in the closet or folded in the drawer. Items that are not salvageable (no, no one wants your 1980s swim champ t-shirt with moth holes), should be set in the designated “recycle” pile. Numerous schools in the Charleston area have recycle bins for clothes and shoes. Schools often receive a monetary kick-back based on the total number of pounds of material. Additionally, recycling clothes reduces waste, energy, and pollution.

The third pile is for donation items. Donating gently used clothes, shoes, and accessories directly benefits people in the Charleston area. Apart from attire, many organizations also accept larger scale items such as furniture, housewares, and decorative items. Selling these donations in a thrift store environment financially benefits the charity. Once you have your donations marked and ready, determine which organization is the best place to drop off your items. Here are few local charities in the Charleston region:

Lowcountry Orphan Relief | 1850 Truxton Avenue, North Charleston, SC 29492

Lowcountry Orphan Relief (LOR) is a nonprofit organization that collects gently used clothes for children in foster care. Many local neighborhoods have “captains” for drop off locations, or people can drop off at the collection site in North Charleston. Presently, LOR is accepting children and adult clothing, school uniforms, shoes, accessories, books, backpacks, and stuffed animals. Please make sure all donations are in nice condition, and, if possible, please sort clothes by size and gender.

One80 Place | 35 Walnut Street, Charleston, SC 29403

As the largest provider of homelessness services, One80 Place’s succinct mission is to prevent and end homelessness. Urgently needed items include new clothing for men and women, bath towels and washcloths, blankets, bedding, toiletry items, kitchen appliances, and non-perishable foods. Gently used clothing may be sent to its partner agencies, The Neighborhood House, which is located at 77 and 79 America Street in Charleston.

My Sister’s House | 3775 Spruill Avenue N, Charleston, SC 29415

Giving a safe shelter for women and children escaping from domestic violence, My Sister’s House serves the tri-county area. In addition to safe shelter, the organization helps women file proper paperwork, participate in training and education programs, and find employment. Currently, the charity accepts used clothing, outerwear, shoes, undergarments, handbags, accessories, and linens.

The center urgently needs pajamas, Lysol wipes and cleaner, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toiletries (not travel size), lightbulbs, and disposable plates. Apart from the Charleston location, other donation drop-off sites are located in Summerville, James Island, Mt. Pleasant, and West Ashley.

East Cooper Community Outreach | 1145 Six Mile Road, Mt Pleasant, SC 29466

Known as ECCO, the East Cooper Community Outreach program is a local charity with the simple mission to “help neighbors help themselves.” By providing essential items, including food and clothes, and offering literacy classes, training programs, health services, ECCO strives to give neighbors the confidence and support needed to improve themselves and their life.

Specifically, ECCO serves the elderly, the financially distressed, veterans, the unemployed / underemployed, and disabled persons. The organization accepts pantry items, clothing, toiletries, and shoes.

Habitat for Humanity Charleston | 731 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC 29403

Though temporarily closed due to Covid-19, Habitat for Humanity in Charleston typically accepts a wide range of household goods such as doors, windows, cabinets, sinks, bathtubs, rugs, carpets, lighting fixtures, office furniture, couches, tables, beds, dressers, bookshelves, appliances, electronics (no box televisions), housewares, exercise equipment, patio furniture, washer/dryers, refrigerators, and other furniture or material. Curbside pick-up is available.

Giving donations to organizations that directly impact residents and children in the Charleston area is a fantastic (and easy) way to help neighbors. Other charities that accept a wide variety of household items include Palmetto Goodwill, Homeless to Hope Furniture Warehouse, Dorchester Advocacy for Children Center, Children’s Cancer Society, and the Salvation Army Family Store. Remember that local animal shelters accept used blankets, sheets, and towels.

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