Some gifts can just keep on giving, especially if the recipient donates them to charity instead of hanging them in the closet. Or puts them in the closet and donates the old stuff they replace.
Area charities campaign for assistance before Christmas. But how are their donations the week after Christmas and before New Year’s resolutions come due?
“It does seem like I’ve heard something like that before,” said Julie Vongdang, when asked whether the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Rockingham had received donations of clothing the donor didn’t like but didn’t want to go to waste. (People who don’t know the giftee well tend to send such things.)
On Wednesday, Vongdang was sorting through a clothing donation that included a broad-brimmed pink hat. (It would look good on someone with a lot of panache.) She said the store would be accepting a lot more post-Christmas donations but didn’t have enough volunteers to go pick them up.
For the record, Habitat would rather have donations of household goods.
Ellen Davis of the Christian Closet in Hamlet said her store’s donors tended to plan a little better: They cleaned out their closets before the holidays.
“Most of our (donated clothing) is before Christmas, like people are cleaning out their closets and stuff, getting ready for the new stuff,” she said.
The New Horizons shelter in Rockingham, for women and children in danger of domestic abuse, had no such windfall.
“It is very unusual,” said Veronica Roberts, who manages the shelter. “Last year, we had abundant donations. I guess people just haven’t gotten around to it (this year).
“At this point, … we’ve only had one lady to call because she was cleaning out the old and bringing in the new.”
This year, the shelter didn’t even receive donated toys, so it was fortunate no children spent Christmas there, Roberts said.
And then there are those people who don’t donate clothing at Christmas but look at their waistlines, contemplating how they’ll measure at the end of the coming year.
Those people can donate things they’ve outgrown — or do, says the Rev. Gary Richardson finds at New Life Church and Place of Grace Mission. Donations become “pretty steady” at the start of each year, Richardson said.
“To kind of help with their resolutions, they’ll throw out (current) clothes and buy clothes that they want to get into” after their diet and exercise regimens work, he said.
Or don’t, although Richardson said no one had come back to reclaim his donated “fat clothes.”
Many charities can use donations of clothing and housewares at this time of year, but not every one has the wherewithal to pick them up. Habitat has a donation box in front of its store on U.S. 74 Business, but many resale shops hope donors will drop off goods at their stores.
For the women’s shelter, donors may call the business number: 910-997-4840. The shelter location is private, but New Horizons’s business office will take up donations at 225 S. Hancock St., Rockingham.
Reach Christine Carroll at 910-817-2673 or [email protected]