Saturday, September 03, 2005

Helping Out, Clearing Out, Thinning Out

My mother is an incredibly sweet, loving little old lady of 92.
When I was a kid growing up in my parent's home, Mama had one very serious addiction:
She was a clothes hoarder. She hated to get rid of hers or anyone in the family's clothes. She bought clothes at resale shops and Goodwill and stashed those away, too.
We had a large, four bedroom house with plenty of closet space. Every closet was cram packed with barrels of clothes, double rods of hanging clothes, dressers full of clothes and- well, you get the picture.
Being short on clients this year due to the increasingly fucked-up economy, I've been trying to figure out how I can help with disaster relief without donating money. I just can't afford charitable cash contributions at this time.
It was then I inventoried my own collection of hoarded clothes and shoes and realized...
I have become my mother.
I have been a clothes hoarder for years now.
I don't buy and hoard used clothes like Mama did, but even worse, I am also a shoe whore with closets full of shoes the 90's want back.
So, I decided to go through my closets, dressers and shoe collection and pack up everything I haven't worn in two years or more.
I packed three giant boxes containing at least 50 polo shirts, T-shirts, tanks and shorts, a pile of sweats, sweaters, hoodies, jeans, several pairs of pants and at least 12 pairs of shoes.
Just a few miles away is a shopping mall with tents set up to collect clothing for survivors of the Gulf Coast disaster. I am taking all my boxes there after I post this, and delivering them with a prayer that the people who choose them like them a lot.
Please folks, if you have excess clothing and/or shoes to donate, consider clearing out your closets and donating them directly to the hurricane victims, if your area supports collection points for them.
To you it might be your favorite old Levis you've outgrown, or a genuine Ralph Lauren Polo shirt you paid $40 for back in 1985- but to a survivor crammed into an arena like the Astrodome with nothing but the clothes on his or her back, those old threads might be the best thing that happen to them all month.
And please, share in my comments box other ideas on how we can all help.


Deb said...

Great idea. I've been wondering if they need other things, too, like beds and household items. (I'm thinking probably not yet, but soon?)

Karen Zipdrive said...

Tomorrow morning I am meeting some friends at a central location so we can caravan to Kelly USA, a former air force base in San Antonio that is currently housing between 8,000 and 10,000 homeless evacuees.
Our mission is simple- the nurses and caregiver volunteers are worn out and need people to come in and cradle & feed terrified infants who've been separated from their parents in all the chaos.

My heart is aching in anticipation of the sorrow I will witness, but if I'm a person whose Blog sets out to afflict the comfortable (like rich, smug GOP bastards) then I'd be as bad as them if I weren't willing to pitch in and comfort the afflicted.

Please everyone- do something to help.
It's a living hell in the South right now. It's worse than 9/11.

And please pray with conviction.

Holly in Cincinnati said...

Thanks Karen!

Karen Zipdrive said...

I'm the one who's thankful for finding some small way to help Katrina's victims, especially these poor little babies.

dusty said...

I am so full of sorrow and so far away..I cleaned out my closets yesterday and took them down to the Red Cross who promptly told me they didnt want my clothes they wanted my money.Pathetic..

Karen Zipdrive said...

Yeah- even down here the Red Cross is pretty cold about wanting cash, not clothes or other goods.
If you choose to donate clothes to resale charities, at least Goodwill is not publicly anti gay like the Salvation Army.

dusty said...

thanks for the heads up on the Salvation Army. I just spend 2k on dental surgery and I am unable to donate cash.

Karen Zipdrive said...

Oh, one more thing about donating clothes to these Katrina survivors-
it's hotter than hell down here and won't get chilly until November.
Please try to sort summer from winter clothes to be donated.
Winter in the South might require a long sleeved sweater and socks but we rarely use those big old down feather parkas and muckluck boots that Yankees need.

JimBob said...

Before donating ca$h to the Red Cross in support of the hurricane relief, keep in mind that after 9/11, MILLIONS of dollars that had been donated SPECIFICALLY FOR 9/11 relief...wasn't used for 9/11 relief at all...

The Red Cross is as full of crooks as any other large organization that handles millions and millions of dollars.

Karen Zipdrive said...

Tomorrow I will list the number, e-mail and address of San Antonio Parks and Recreation.
That's a city program that's going broke trying to feed and entertain families and their children.

They work like dogs for little money and they have been the glue that's held Kelly USA together.