Sometimes we often get so lost in the daily events of our lives that we tend to forget what is really important. Separating our wants from our needs is an exercise in gratitude; those with food, water, shelter, clothing, and companionship have everything they could ask for from this life. Unfortunately, there are still many people who lack these basic needs for one reason or another; it thus falls on those of us with our needs fulfilled to take a break from our wants to tend to other’s needs. Seven out of 10 Americans donate to charity on an annual basis with around 3% of all income in our nation being given to charities every year. Here are five facts that help put donations and the need for them in proportion.
We Waste So Much!
As a wealthy first-world nation, we thrive off of consumerism. Where there are things being purchased, it is only a natural consequence that there would in-turn also be waste. It is estimated that the average American produces around 4.5 pounds of trash every day, contributing to an annual average of three-quarters of a ton of trash per year. Aside from seemingly unavoidable waste, Americans are guilty of consuming around 20 billion garments per year; the average American throws away around 10 pounds of garments every year according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). While all of this is unfortunate, the cruel irony is that nearly every article of clothing thrown away could have been recycled, repurposed, or simply donated instead of wasted.
Those in Need
While it is difficult to put an exact number on homelessness, a report from January of 2015 suggest that on any given night in the United States there are 564,708 people without a home. Of those who are homeless, it is estimated that 15% (83,170 people) are considered chronically homeless individuals who are unlikely to support themselves for any number of reasons.
The Scope of Generosity
Although the reality is grim, the willingness of individuals to help those in need is inspiring to say the least. Non-profit organizations allow those who wish to donate clothes, money, or time to direct their generosity in community efforts intended on bringing the most help to the most people. Sites such as the American Red Cross donation centers help provide relief to those in need year-round in the form of blankets, food, blood, and shelter — the Red Cross is the 13th largest charity in the United States as ranked by private donations receiving something to the tune of $687 million dollars in 2014.
In Defense of Altruism
When it comes to private donors, many may be skeptical regarding the motivation to give. Although there are indeed tax write offs for those who donate a large quantities, surveys of those Red Cross donations came back with a surprising reason for donating. Up to 63% of high net worth donors state that their primary motivation for donating to charity was a need to give back to the community. This sentiment may be enough to restore hope in humanity for would-be doubters
Easier Than Ever
Statistically, charitable donations have been on an upward trend over the past decade thanks in large part to a more diverse array of options. Many cities have increased the number of drop off locations and increased pick up time schedules to allow greater access from a donating public. Perhaps most revolutionary of all is the introduction of Red Cross clothing pickup services. Red Cross clothing pickup services help those with busy schedules to make the donations they way to without having to rely on finding a drop-off cite in their area. Simply schedule an appointment and the Red Cross clothing pickup service will meet your needs to find a pickup time suitable for any schedule. For easier clothes donations than ever before, count on non-profit charities like Red Cross clothing pickup to find innovative solutions to an age-old problem. For those who still want to volunteer their time or money, it is likely that are there are other non-profit services in your area to help those in need.