The end of the year is coming, and you need to raise funds for the school’s class trip to Quebec City. Or maybe you are looking for help to fund the purchase of new equipment for your daughter’s soccer team, or seeking funds to help finance renovations of your local community centre.
There are many traditional fundraising ideas out there: bake sales, magazine sales, car washes, auctions…but each has its own drawback. Gift wrap just collects dust, magazines go unread, car washes require a lot of labour, and bake sales and chocolate campaigns just grow our waistlines. And let’s be honest, it’s not always easy asking our friends, family, and coworkers for cash every year, no matter how worthy the cause.
Ottawa’s own Used Clothing Drive and parent company Bank & Vogue set out to solve this dilemma by facilitating fundraisers that provide value, make a difference, and don’t involve asking people for money. With a used clothing fundraiser, people in the community simply donate their unwanted items toward the cause.
The more items your school, church, non-profit organization, or sports team collects, the more money you will raise toward your cause. The used clothing and other items are then donated to people in need through charities, thrift stores, and the global clothing market (in Canada, Used Clothing Drive is partnered with the Salvation Army Thrift Store). You raise money for your own cause, while diverting recyclable items from landfills and supporting people in need – win, win, win.
In addition to collecting gently used clothing, shoes, purses, linens, and other accessories, household items such as jewellery, glassware, school supplies, and home décor items are also accepted donations. People are excited to donate gently used clothes and household items versus giving money. In fact, for many people in your community it’s a great opportunity to get rid of clothes that no longer fit, baby clothes or children’s clothes that their kids’ have outgrown, or to clean out one’s closet and start fresh. Rather than these items going to the garbage, they go to people in need and help your school, sports team, or church at the same time.
Used Clothing Drive has a long list of success stories in Ottawa and across North America. Glashan Public School right here in Ottawa wanted to raise funds toward their Schoolyard Greening Project, designed to transform their concrete playground into a green learning environment. The community, with support from local partners Whole Foods Market and Ecology Ottawa, raised more than 30,000 lb of used clothes and household goods toward the cause, exceeding their donation target!
Used clothing fundraisers can also help raise money for charity. Last fall, the residents of Rock Creek, B.C. banded together to help wildfire victims get back on their feet. The small community collected over 27,000 lb of used clothing and household goods, proceeds of which went directly to the community. This initiative is especially heartwarming in light of the recent Fort McMurray wildfire.
If you’d like to learn more about eco-fundraising, Used Clothing Drive’s blog is well worth a read. There you can read about ethical shopping, sustainability, green living, slow fashion, and much more.
Used Clothing Drive is making a name for itself across North America, and we are proud to see an Ottawa-based organization do such good in the world.
Title image courtesy of Used Clothing Drive Facebook