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What Does the American Red Cross Do?

The American Red Cross focuses on providing humanitarian relief for people around the world, and they’ve done so for many years. They help people, communities, and nations come back from some of the most devastating situations, and many individuals give thanks for their help every single day. One of our main partnered charities is the Red Cross, so in this post, we delve into a common question we come across: what does the American Red Cross do? We’ll discuss the functions and services it provides to showcase just how important this partnership is.

Training and Certification

An important aspect of the American Red Cross is their training and certification programs. With the help of the Red Cross, individuals and companies around the world can study and complete different health and safety courses. These classes allow people to prepare for a variety of life’s unexpected events. Each Red Cross chapter (each location) will have different classes available, and they’re well worth the $30–$50. Common classes include the following:

  • First Aid
  • CPR
  • Pet First Aid
  • Babysitting
  • HIV/AIDS Training
  • Disaster Response Team Training
  • AED (Automatic Electric Defibrillator)
  • Lifeguarding
  • CNA Training

 

Blood Collection

The service that people most often equate with the Red Cross is blood collection. The organization collects and maintains around half of the United States blood supply from millions of donors. You can either go to a location to donate, host a blood drive, or find a blood drive. Either way, the blood they collect helps patients of all ages in many situations, such as accidents, surgery, illness, or disease.

Disaster Relief

Another major aspect of the Red Cross’ platform are their disaster relief services. Every single day, people around the world need help from the Red Cross—they respond to emergencies every 8 minutes. They respond to a disaster’s immediate aftermath within two hours of notification. They provide water, food, shelter, and medical services. Whether it’s a fire, hurricane, earthquake, or any other tragic event, they provide relief and aid to those in need. If a disaster occurs in another area of the world, the American Red Cross will send supplies and people to help out.

Aid Soldiers and Victims of War

The original goal of the International Red Cross movement was to provide aid and comfort to soldiers and victims of war, and that’s what the American Red Cross works to do, as well. This can mean anything from distributing care packages to keeping members of the armed forces in contact with family members. Since 9/11, they served more than 1 million military families and strive to give aid and support to even more as needed.

International Services

Like we mentioned briefly above, the American Red Cross works to provide relief and hope to every corner of the globe. They send people and supplies to different areas of the world for emergencies and to help neighborhoods prepare for future disasters.

At GreenDrop, we pride ourselves on helping charities like the Red Cross as they continue to help people around the world. With the help of donated and collected clothing and household items, we can raise funds to assist this upstanding charity. For Red Cross donations, turn to GreenDrop!

What Can Be Donated to Charity?

The holidays are right around the corner, and with that comes a wonderful season of giving. This year do your best to give not just to your loved ones, but to your community. Whether you support your local thrift shop or want to give to a bigger cause, there are many items you can donate. It’s good for you and supports those in need—what could be better during the season of giving?

Although part of you may want to give everything you can, there are a few restrictions on what charities allow you to donate. Before you donate, research the charity and figure out what they accept. For example, GreenDrop does not accept cars, but other charities do. To help you have the best giving experience possible, we created a general guide of what can be donated to charity—check it out!

Financial Donations

First, the most simplistic way to donate to a charity is with a monetary donation. Make financial donations to your chosen charity by check or credit card. If you’re hoping to reap a tax reward, with monetary donations you can keep better track of your giving. Reach out to your charity and see what works best for them when it comes to payment, but when in doubt, a check is always a great option.

Clothing

Clothes donations are the most popular type of charitable contribution. They are a great way to give back to the community and get rid of any extra clutter in your home. While not all charities accept clothing donations, many of them will take a wide range of clothing items. The following is a general list of what GreenDrop accepts:

Men’s Clothing Women’s Clothing Kids Clothing
Tops (button-downs, t-shirts, sweaters, etc.) Tops (sweaters, long- and short-sleeves, etc.) Tops (onesies, shirts, sweaters)
Bottoms (jeans, dress-pants) Bottoms (skirts, shorts, jeans, etc.) Bottoms
Outerwear (winter coats, jackets) Dresses (formal, casual, cocktail) Outerwear
Athletic Wear (shorts, pants, tops) Outerwear (fur coats, winter coats, peacoats) Swimsuits
Sleepwear and socks Sleepwear and socks Sleepwear and socks
Hats Hats Hats
Ties Athletic Wear (leggings, shorts, tops, etc.)

Shoes and Bags

Most charities that accept clothes will also accept shoes and bags. From winter boots to sandals, try your best to provide charities with a wide variety of shoes. This will benefit many people—especially during the colder months. This said, a lot of people forget to donate socks, which is another crucial item that many individuals can use. Socks are small, but they make a huge difference in many lives. As for bags, they can range from school backpacks to luggage. Just make sure to call ahead and ensure that the charity can pick up bigger items.

Kitchenware

Another big donation category is kitchenware. It’s not just plates and bowls—it ranges from small teaspoons and large ladles to pots and pans. Many charities generally accept crockpots, Tupperware, glasses and cups, serving trays, and other common items as well. If you’re thinking about getting some new kitchenware, donate your old items first!

Books

Everyone deserves to escape from reality now and then, even if it’s just for a moment. And reading a book is a great way to achieve this. Not all charities accept books, but the ones that do would love to get those old books sitting untouched in your basement. Try to make sure they’re in decent condition, but other than that, basically, any book is acceptable for donating. From classic children’s books to encyclopedias, this season, gift the joy of reading!

Toys and Games

From puzzles to action figures, toys and games are great items to donate. No matter the season, donating these are a great way to draw children out of their technology obsession and back to fostering their imagination!

Art

Again, not all charities will accept art as a donation, so make sure to call before you plan to give it away. However, art is a fantastic thing to donate, and if you can’t donate the piece itself, you could put on your own art auction. Whatever you sell, you can then donate the money to charity. For high-quality artwork, you’ll need to get a qualified appraisal before you donate the piece to charity to ensure you get the correct tax deduction. Do your research before donating high-priced items to make sure you’re giving to a charity that will take care of it.

Linens

Blankets, comforters, sheets, towels, tablecloths, and more all fall under the category of linens. Before you throw out that blanket, wash it and see if it’s of good enough quality for donation. Especially in the wintertime, charities and shelters desperately need blankets. Think about what it would be like to go without heat in the cold weather—if you couldn’t handle it, consider donating blankets to a shelter or charity.

Hygiene Essentials

A lot of people forget how important donating hygiene essentials are. From toothpaste to small bathroom products, these items are incredibly important to different shelters and charities. If these products still have the seal intact, they should be good to donate. Common hygiene donations include:

  • Shampoo, conditioner
  • Shower gel
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Pads and tampons
  • Band-Aids
  • Diapers
  • Toilet Paper

Sporting Goods

This is a category a lot of people forget about when it comes to charitable donations. As always, you’re going to need to check with the charity to ensure that they will take these items. If they do, know that you’re gifting someone the joy of play. Oftentimes, charities that accept this sort of donation will take everything from camping equipment to various sporting equipment. Additionally, if you have dumbbells that you haven’t used in years, consider donating them. Even bikes are a donation-friendly item!

Furniture

This isn’t saying donate your entire sectional—it refers more to smaller furniture pieces, such as side tables and wooden chairs. Typically, when you’re trying to figure out whether a charity will take your piece of furniture if it’s over 50 pounds, they probably won’t be able to accept it. Think small items such as coffee tables, lamps, nightstands, rocking chairs, and the like.

Once you go through your home and figure out what exactly you can donate, turn to GreenDrop for your donation pick-up or drop-off services. We partner with charities such as Red Cross, Purple Heart, National Federation of the Blind, and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. We will turn tour donations into a monetary donation that will greatly aid these charities. Donate now!

What Can Be Donated to Charity? infographic

Meaningful Ways to Celebrate Veterans Day

Veterans Day—the eleventh day of the eleventh month, a day that celebrates our former servicemen. First known as Armistice Day, the holiday initially marked the mark the end of World War I in 1918. Veterans of the Great War marched in hometown parades and were honored with speeches by local and national politicians. 36 years later, Armistice Day officially became the national holiday that we now call Veterans Day. As November 11th rolls around each year, make sure to honor those who served our great nation. Read on to learn some meaningful ways to celebrate Veterans Day—we have some great ideas for the family and the community.

Attend an Event

This year, make time for veterans by showing up for an official Veterans Day event in your area, such as a memorial service or a parade. The latter is particularly special because it ties back to the parades that World War I veterans would have experienced back in 1918. Do your best to show genuine support and appreciation.

Visit a Veterans’ Hospital

One of the most meaningful ways to celebrate Veterans Day is by conversing with the people you’re celebrating and showing a genuine interest in their experiences. Visit a VA hospital in your area or contact a local assisted living facility or nursing home to see if you can come chat with some of the veterans. Gratitude goes a long way.

Invite a Veteran to Speak

Talk to your child’s teacher or a school in the area about bringing in a veteran to speak. Whether you choose a family or faculty member or get in contact with your local VA for a good public speaking candidate, this is a great way to raise children’s awareness and respect for this day.

Participate in a Moment of Silence

The Veterans Day Moment of Silence Act is something a lot of people don’t know about. In 2016, President Obama designated two minutes of silence, to be observed at 2:11 EST, as an opportunity to reflect on the veterans who have touched our lives. This year, take the two minutes to ensure you remember the purpose of Veterans Day.

Write to a Veteran

Sometimes we forget how even small acts of service can make a huge impact on someone else’s life. If you know a veteran, write a postcard that recognizes them and their sacrifices. If you don’t, look up the closest military outcrop and send one there.

Wear a Red Poppy

People have worn red poppies to commemorate veterans since 1921, so this year, wear one to work or school to show your support. Obtain one from a program such as the American Legion Auxiliary Poppy Program, in which veterans handmake the poppies as part of their therapeutic rehabilitation. The donations received in exchange for the lovely flowers go directly to help disabled and hospitalized veterans in your community.

Donate, Donate, Donate

Another important and beneficial way to celebrate Veterans Day is by donating. Whether you offer financial support or donate clothes to an organization that partners with veteran charities, such as GreenDrop, make sure you donate this year. Create care packages for soldiers overseas, or set up a clothing drive at your work. A myriad of organizations offer support, services, and more to service members—donating your time, money, or unneeded items is truly the least you could do.

If you’re looking to donate this year, turn to GreenDrop for all your clothing or home good donations. Purple Heart is one of our main partners—when you donate, we monetize those donations and send the proceeds over to Purple Heart. Whether you schedule a donation pickup or drop-off, you’ll know that your donations will help our amazing veterans.

How to Get Rid of Clutter in Your Home

Are you feeling a lot of stress in your life? One of the best ways to relieve that tension is to tidy up around the house; the saying goes: “tidy house, tidy mind.” Especially with the cold weather on its way, you’ll spend even more time indoors. So, whether it’s just a few boxes lying around or you have rooms filled to the brim with unnecessary items, it’s time to clean up, toss, or donate it. To help you on your quest to a cleaner house and mind, follow our guide on how to get rid of clutter in your home!

Use the Four-Box Method

One of the main tricks to getting rid of clutter in your home is the four-box method. In each clutter-filled room, keep four labeled boxes: trash, keep, donate, and relocate. As you spend your time decluttering, use these boxes as your way of knowing what you do and don’t need. As you go room by room, don’t skip over a single item. These boxes will help you decide whether those little figurines or old, small art projects are truly necessary. Here are a few examples of what you could find in each box:

Toss:

This box contains broken, stained, ripped, incomplete, and outdated items. For example, in the kitchen, you may toss outdated food. Similarly, in the toy room, you would toss broken kids’ toys. When you’re trying to delineate between toss and donate, determine if someone else would purchase the item in its current condition. If not, it goes into the trash box.

Donate:

This will probably be the box that ends up with the most in it, especially when it comes to the bedroom. Put items that you haven’t touched in six months or more and are still in good condition in the donate box.

Keep:

When it comes to the keep box, you have to be strategic, otherwise, you could end up keeping all the clutter you need to get rid of. Pay attention to how often you use or wear the item—if it’s not often enough, you need to part with it. If it’s a relic, put it in the storage box. If the item is only adding to the clutter, you need to think about delegating it to a different box.

Store:

To put it simply, this box is for items you can’t part with, but don’t necessarily play a role in your daily life. For example, you can store important family heirlooms you want to pass down elsewhere. Since it doesn’t actively contribute to your day-to-day lifestyle, it doesn’t need to sit out.

What Would You Replace If You Lost Everything?

As you’re going through each room with these boxes, try to ask yourself: what would you replace if you lost everything? This is a reverse way of thinking; if everything was gone, what would you replace first. This thinking is especially beneficial for those who need some strict decluttering rules. If you choose to go this route, make sure you only keep the necessities.

Declutter in Chunks

When you go to reorganize and clean your home, don’t try to get it all done in one day. You should declutter in short chunks—making it an all-day affair may do more harm than good. In reality, getting rid of clutter in your home is a task best spread out over multiple days or weeks. The time frame will depend on how much you need to get rid of. If you find cleaning to be extremely stressful, set aside a few five-minute chunks each day when you can make these decisions.

Don’t Forget About Paper Clutter

A big category of clutter that people often overlook is a real nuisance—paper. Paper clutter is very hard to control, as it requires a ton of organization. Make sure you have different areas (folders, binders, etc.) to hold coordinate the different papers. For example, important documents, such as credit card statements and electric bills, should go into their own folder. Additionally, you should get rid of receipts once you log them all in the same place. The more paper organization hacks you have, the better your home will look and feel.

Donate More

In general, if you want to get rid of clutter in your home, then you should think about donating regularly. Even after you finish decluttering your home, keep a box somewhere in the house that’s solely for donations. As you go through each day and find something to donate, put it in the donate box. There are a lot of items that are great for donating—GreenDrop continually updates our list of acceptable donation items. In general, donating will get rid of clutter in your home and simultaneously help your community and local charities.

Follow the One In, One Out Rule

As you continue to refine the items in your home, try to follow the one in, one out, rule. Especially when it comes to items found in your closet, this idea can keep you from having too much stuff. If you want a new sweater, then an old sweater needs to go in the donate pile. If you buy new winter coats for the family, then you need to bring the old winter coats to your favorite charity. Pay attention to how much you’re bringing into the house, and make sure you take the same amount out.

Find New Ways to Keep Items You Love

For many individuals, one of the hardest parts of ridding clutter is finding a way to hang onto memories. Whether it’s a shirt from an old friend or a bunch of family pictures, several items in our homes carry lovely memories. Although we don’t want to part with them, they only add to our clutter problem. For these items, try to find new ways to keep them that will simultaneously lessen the disarray. For example, digitize those photos you can’t get rid of, and add them to an album on the computer. With all the technology at our fingertips, think about the ways you can hang on to those memories without adding to the mess!

Hopefully, following these tips will help you rid the clutter from your home and reduce any stress you feel when you walk in the door. When you fill-up any donation boxes, schedule a home pick-up donation with GreenDrop. We’ll come to get your donations and will donate any money earned to the charity of your choice. We partner with Purple Heart, Red Cross, National Federation of the Blind, and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Reap the benefits of a clean home and achieve a clear conscious knowing you’re helping your community!

How to Get Rid of Clutter in Your Home infographic

Who Will Pick Up Donations for Free?

You’ve finally taken the time to go through the clutter in your home or the piles of clothes in your closet and figured out what you can donate to charity. Now the task at hand is knowing who will pick up donations for free, because let’s face it, more often than not your donations will sit in your trunk for months before you make it to a drop-off location. To help you in your donation process, we’ve listed a few different companies that pick up donations free of charge and their simple processes for doing so.

GreenDrop

GreenDrop provides a convenient way to donate gently used clothing and household goods to assist various charitable programs. Currently based in the east coast, you can schedule a donation pick-up in the Philadelphia metro area, New Jersey, Delaware, Washington D.C., the Baltimore metro area, and Northern Virginia. When you donate, you’ll pick one of the following charities to donate to, and your donations will be converted into critical funds.

Purple Heart

One of GreenDrop’s main partners is the Purple Heart. For years, they’ve partnered together to aid veterans and those serving. If you choose to donate to Purple Heart, you’ll have a truck come by your location to pick up your donations. Schedule a donation now!

Red Cross

Another big partner with GreenDrop is the American Red Cross. The charity exists to provide compassionate care to those who need it. Whether you choose to donate clothes or small furniture, these donations will turn into money that helps people in need, both in America and around the world.

National Federation of the Blind

The National Federation of the Blind helps thousands of blind individuals overcome obstacles and challenges. When you donate to GreenDrop, your donations will turn into funds to support their extraordinary initiatives.

St. Vincent de Paul

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul has been helping people for years—neighbors helping neighbors. Just in Philadelphia, but with 220 parishes, they provide individuals with the most basic necessities. Your donations transform into funds they need to continue to support the community.

Furniture Bank

GreenDrop doesn’t accept all furniture, only the smaller pieces such as coffee tables and lamps. Furniture Bank is another donation pick-up service that helps battered women and children in retreat, as well as immigrants, the unemployed, the working poor, and more. They help set up peoples’ homes with the furnishings you donate and accept car donations as well.

Whether you’re moving and need to get rid of some things or you just decided it was time to clean out your home, turn to GreenDrop for your donation pick-ups. We’ll make sure your donations get converted into the cash that these charities need to continue to aid people across the country.