As of 2014, there were an estimated 22 million military veterans living in the United States and as of 2014, 3.8 million veterans were living with a service-connected disability.
There are many ways to go about helping disabled veterans. Organizations such as Purple Heart Pickup accept a myriad of items that are donated to disabled veterans. Many other places accept donations of clothing and support charities for wounded soldiers.
Many donated products are given new life in developing nations where individuals purchase used American goods for pennies of their original price. Internationally, more than 14.3 million tons of donated American textiles help clothe people and families worldwide.
If you’re considering helping disabled veterans, there are many reasons to do so. Not only do donations of clothing and other items go a long way in helping disabled veterans, donating is better for the environment and can be used as a write-off when tax season rolls around.
With that in mind, here are 10 reasons your donations ultimately benefit disabled veterans:
- The average American buys at least twice as many pieces of clothing as 20 years ago.
- About 4.7 billion pounds of clothing are donated by Americans each year.
- Even so, Americans only recycle or donate 15 percent of their used clothing on average.
- Americans send about 10.5 million tons of clothing to landfills annually.
- Textiles account for five percent of municipal waste because only about 15 percent of them are ever recycled.
- The average American throws away nearly 70 pounds of clothing, linens and textiles each year.
- If you live in an area with a one or two season climate and haven’t worn an item in six months, donating it might be a good option.
- In 2006, 2.5 billion pounds of fabric were kept from landfills by used-clothing purchases.
- 45 percent of recycled clothing is worn as secondhand clothing.
- Almost 100 percent of household textiles and clothing can be recycled regardless of condition.
When it comes to donating clothing and used items for tax purposes, consider the following:
- Remember, any charitable donation worth more than $250 (including donations of clothing and household items) will require a receipt to write off on your taxes.
- Smart givers only support groups granted tax-exempt status under section 501© (3) of the IRS code.
- The IRS requires a qualified appraisal to be submitted with your tax return if you donate any single clothing item or household item that is not in good used condition or better and for which you donated more than $500.
- Men’s overcoats and suits are worth about $60 as a write-off.
- A coffee maker is worth anywhere from $4 to $15 as a write-off.
Total giving to charitable donations was more than $350 billion in 2014 and about 43 percent of people surveyed said they tend to give more during the holidays. Additionally, a majority (70) percent of social media users would take some kind of action in response to a friend posting a story about making a charitable donation, so the potential for even more donations to help disabled veterans is there via the Internet.
If you’re considering donating money, clothing or other items toward helping disabled veterans, there are many organizations that make that possible. But it’s important to know exactly where your donations are going and if you donate money, how much of it is actually going to veterans who need it.
Charity Navigator can provide you with a list of charities for wounded soldiers and this report from Consumer Reports can help make sure the charities for wounded soldiers that you’re donating to are reputable.
If you’re looking to just donate clothing and other items
Paralyzed Veterans of America and
Military Order of the Purple Heart are a few of the charities for wounded soldiers that are available.