“In a word: charity cannot be neutral, antiseptic, indifferent, lukewarm, or impartial! Charity is infectious, it excites, it risks, and it engages!” said Pope Francis to new cardinals in a Mass on February 15, 2015.
That’s exactly what true charity does: When you give of yourself—be it your time, your attention, or your resources—your recipient isn’t the only one who experiences that uplifting feeling of being thought about and cared for. You feel it too, and there is no better feeling than the one you get from knowing someone appreciated what you shared and benefited from it, too.
Charity doesn’t have to be expensive or grand; it can be something as simple as giving away clothes that have been sitting in your closet for years. Holding on to them because you plan to wear them “one of these days?” Just think about the people—from victims of calamities to the abandoned and less-privileged members of society—who can use them today.
The European fast fashion store offers a 15 percent discount voucher in exchange for your donation of pre-loved clothes in any brand. (A maximum two vouchers a day will be issued to a donor, no matter how many bags of used clothing he or she brings.) H&M sends these donations to I:Collect, which sells them as secondhand clothing, repurposes them into mats, rags, or car seat fillers, or makes new yarns from the fabric. The company also donates 0.02 euros (P1) to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Philippines for every kilogram of collected used clothing. You can visit H&M store nationwide to drop-off your pre-loved clothes.
The Japanese retailer accepts your “gently worn products” (Uniqlo or non-Uniqlo) for distribution locally to those in need, and worldwide to refugees through the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. Simply approach any of the staff at a Uniqlo branch nearest you to turn over your donation.
This initiative under Caritas Manila doesn’t just accept old clothes. Toys, books, baby items, appliances, and other items that may be of use to others are also welcome. Your donations in kind help fund vocational and college scholarships under Caritas Manila’s Youth Servant Leadership & Education Program; they also support the livelihood of Baseco- and Payatas-based micro-entrepreneurs and informal settlers, and promote the three Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle). Call (02)564-0205 or visit the Caritas Manila website for more information.
Goodwill Industries of the Philippines, Inc. (GIPI)
A non-stock, non-profit organization dedicated to the rehabilitation of persons with disabilities, GIPI is part of a global organization that offers skills training, vocational evaluation, work adjustment, sheltered placement, and guidance and spiritual counseling. Besides used clothing, GIPI accepts second hand appliances, computers, printers, books, and more, which it sells in its thrift shops. Call (02) 838-7170, (02) 806-1439, (02) 478-6764, or send a message through its Facebook page.
Text by Joy Rojas.
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