According to Bennett Weiner, chief operating officer of the Better Business Bureau, Americans donate about $6 billion dollars worth of clothing items every year. However, when it's time to clean out your closets and get rid of the clothes you never wear anymore, Bennett says you may want to think twice about where you are donating the items. Jean talks with Bennett about the minor investigative work every donor should do before giving away their used goods.
Bennett says businesses or individuals sometimes profit off the donations instead of helping charities. For example, Bennett says some collection bins in the parking lots of shopping centers are conveniently located, but they're often not what they appear to be. "It may be a for-profit business that may be collecting those clothes," he says. "[The bin] may in some cases have a name on the side that sounds like a charity, when in fact it is not." Similarly, if an organization is hosting a drive and coming to your neighborhood to collect clothing or other items for charity, Bennett says you should double check their legitimacy and make sure they're accurately representing themselves.
Bennett shares tips for being a cautious donor:
Published on August 10, 2007