Festival season is particularly frenzied for many Indians as they go about buying gifts for their numerous relatives, friends and colleagues. People hope their secret desires for iPhones, golf clubs, or high-end branded handbags, etc., are fulfilled by some generous person in their circle. But what happens to those who look for nothing more than basic necessities like clothes, books and shoes?
Diwali is the ideal time to light up someone’s life. And it is also the time when most people clean every nook and cranny of their homes, only to discover that they have many underused goods in good condition.
Here is a list of credible NGOs in major cities across India that take donations of used goods and hand them over to people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
But before you make that donation, here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
1) Keep your Jockeys at home – do not give away used undergarments because not only is that demeaning to the beneficiaries but it is also extremely unhygienic.
2). Make sure that the donated goods are cleaned, ironed and in good shape before you give them away. Consider labelling them according to type, size and gender to make it easier for the charity workers to distribute them.
3) If you are donating books make sure that they’re not just engineering/ medical textbooks. Most of these organisations serve underprivileged kids who would greatly benefit from children’s books and stationery.
1. The Clothes Box Foundation
This NGO gives away used clothes and toys to people from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Clothes Box team assure donors of complete transparency by sending them photographs of donated goods being used by the beneficiaries.
Write to them at: email@example.com
Or visit their website: http://www.clothesboxfoundation.org/
2. American Women’s Association
Thrift shops are quite popular in the US for selling used clothes at affordable prices. But the American Women’s Association runs a unique thrift shop that gives away proceeds from selling used items to NGOs across the city. You can donate everything from broken electronic goods and beauty supplies to art supplies and video/audio tapes.
Thrift Shop donations are accepted at the AWA office at Panchsheel Marg
Gate D, American Embassy Compound, New Delhi, from Monday-Friday between 9 am and 4 pm.
Write to them at: firstname.lastname@example.org Call: 2419-8509
Or visit their website: http://awadelhi.com/thrift-shop/
1. Raddi Connect:
Raddiwallahs (scrap collectors and sellers) are an essential component of the recycling industry in India. An organisation called Raddi Connect is helping them get in touch with people who want to get rid of junk. The trained raddiwallahs will come to your doorstep, pick up the goods, weigh them on an electronic scale, and a portion of the money collected by them will be donated to NGOs affiliated with Raddi Connect.
Call them at: 919004240004
Write to them at: email@example.com
Or visit their website: http://raddiconnect.com/
2. Green Soles
According to WHO, diseases that can be prevented by wearing proper footwear infect 1.5 billion people every year. Green Soles recycles discarded shoes to convert them into functional footwear, which is handed over to local NGOs and schools.
Call them at: +91-8879982045
Write to them at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or visit their website: http://www.greensole.in/#
Kranti is an NGO that works with the daughters of sex-workers in Mumbai and helps them escape the intergenerational cycle of prostitution through timely rehabilitative measures. They accept donations like books, computer parts, cameras, office/school supplies, furniture, and even kitchen appliances.
Write to them at: email@example.com
Or visit their website: http://www.kranti-india.org/support-us
Goonj is an NGO founded by Magsaysay award winner Anshu Gupta. They accept donated clothes and use them as a vital resource to develop rural and slum areas. They have drop-off centres in various parts of the country, including Kolkata.
You can visit GOONJ Kolkata, Plot No. AA-8, Prafulla Kanan(West), Kestopur to donate clothes.
Call them at: Mr. Iftikar Ahmed (9748691735), Ms. Arpita (8420493820/ 033-40047907)
Or write to them at: firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com
2. Clothes for Help
Clothes for Help has collected thousands of bags of underused clothes and given them to people living in poverty. They also help underprivileged women earn additional income by letting them keep the money they earn from selling some of the clothes in second-hand markets.
You can give away your clothes at Responsible Charity Office, 22 Saktigarh Road, Jadavpur.
To know more call them at: 033-4004-8442
Or write to them at: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Rural Institute for Development Education (RIDE)
For more than three decades, this organisation has been working with children from underprivileged backgrounds. They help child labourers transition to school. They also empower women through self-help groups and conduct awareness drives related to human rights education, road safety and sanitation. RIDE takes donations in the form of books, clothes, medicines, and toys.
Call them at: 0091 44 27268223
Or write to: email@example.com
Visit their website here: http://www.rideindia.org/
2. Sankara Nethralaya
Sankara Nethralaya is one of the most popular and reputed eye-care institutions in the country. They organise free eye check-ups regularly for people from disadvantaged backgrounds. They have placed drop boxes in their branches across Chennai, where people can donate their used spectacles. The lenses are removed and the frames are polished to make spectacles for people who can’t afford to buy a new pair.
To know more call: 044-4227 1500
Or write to: 91-44-28202448
Visit their website here: http://www.sankaranethralaya.org/
The R.K. Foundation
The R.K Foundation runs various projects to tackle issues related to hunger, health, education, and the environment. One such initiative is a clothes bank called Vastraa, where team members from the R.K Foundation collect underused/new clothes from “individual donors and corporate citizenship programs.” They later segregate the clothes according to size and gender and distribute them among various civil society/community organisations.
You can drop off the clothes at No 2 & 3, New Raja Bulding, 2nd Floor, N.R Road, Bangalore – 560 002.
To know more call: Mr. K. Venkateshwaran at +91 – 98451 15256
Or write to them at: http://www.rkfoundation.org/our_story.html#
Visit their website here: http://www.rkfoundation.org/vastra.html