Planning to drop off a bag of clothes at one of the donation bins you see in Illinois parking lots soon? There is one important thing you need to know first.

Time to Clean Out the Closet

Whenever the weather turns colder and I begin to reach for hoodies and sweaters to wear I realize very quickly that I, (along with my two daughters), have waaayyy too many clothes and need to make a purge.

Young woman choosing clothes
Milenko Bokan

For over a month now I have been driving around with 3 bags of clothes I have every intention of donating, yet I always forget about. Normally I would take donate this stuff  to the Salvation Army, but the other day I noticed this clothes donation bin for "Helping Hands" in Pecatonica, which would be a pretty quick trip to give some of my old clothes new life.

Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media

Donation boxes just like this exist in parking lots all over the Rockford area, and the rest of Illinois too, but not everyone is happy about that.

Important Things to Know About Clothing Donation Bins

I'm assuming when most people donate their unwanted stuff they do it to help someone else in need. If where your old stuff goes is important you, dropping donations into one of these bins might not be something you want to do. Why? Because your unwanted apparel will likely go to a resale shop to be resold instead of being given to someone in need.

Back in December of 2021, some city leaders in Rockford took issue with these types of donation bins claiming they were a scam and making a profit off of the giving hearts of Rockford residents, but Helping Hands wasn't having it.

Arian Toska, who was Helping Hands’ Chief Operating Officer in 2021 told WTVO;

We specifically say that we’re a for profit company, we’re not embarrassed to be a for profit company.

Toska also said the bins specifically say "Commercial Recycling Business" on them, and that the company's main goal is to keep clothes out of landfills.

I think we would all like to see our old clothes go to someone who needs them, but really, isn't the main goal to just get them out of our house?

If you really want to make sure your old clothes go to someone who truly needs them, always check the wording on the donation bins carefully.

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Gallery Credit: Liz Barrett Foster

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