Donations of clothes to Hope

Hewitsons winter Coat Appeal

Every year, but especially at Christmas, people donate clothes to Hope. They can be old clothes they no longer need, or new things like hats, gloves, hoodies and underwear. We are really grateful for the kindness people show.

Hope supplies clothes to homeless people every day we are open, either through the ‘shop’, run by service users in our day centre between 10 and 11 on weekdays, where items are usually sold for the nominal price of 30p, or on the basis of need. Anyone who need clothes and can’t pay even 30p can have some for free by asking staff. And hats/gloves/socks and pants are always available and free.

The charge is not profit making and simply is there to encourage responsibility and budgetting and to avoid people taking them away and selling them on.

Through donations we get enough clothes to help the 120 people or so everyday who come in, although we don’t ever get enough men’s pants, which we always, always need (old washed ones are fine, they don’t have to be new).

But because people are so generous, we get more clothes than even 120 people a day can take away. So in common with every other charity on the planet, we have to manage the donations and we use the surplus to raise money to support our day centre. We want you, our donors, to know what may happen to the clothes you have donated to us, and how you can plan your donations for maximum benefit to homeless people.

We divide the clothes donated into categories:

Rags – things not usable, which we supply  to the ragman, and from here they go on to the global south as clothes or are re-spun into fibre.

Clothes for the day centre – the shop/distribution as described above

Clothes for jumble sales

Clothes for our charity shop, when it opens (this will operate like no other charity shop, as if you register as a member on the basis of benefit status, you will get a 20% discount against all other shoppers)

Clothes for sale on ebay   If an item is more valuable, we can maximise its value to support our work by selling it at closer to market rate

Nobody makes any profit on any of the above. 100% of everything raised is used to support our charitable work.

We also sometimes run fashion shows giving a great experience to homeless peopel taking part – and they get the clothes they wear.

Occasionally we ask people not to give for a while, if we have too many in stock

We always need more space to store clothes if people can let us have it.

WE ALWAYS NEED VOLUNTEERS WHO ENJOY SORTING CLOTHES OR RUNNING JUMBLE SALES – contact volunteering@northamptonhopecentre.org.uk

FAQs

People say, why can’t the homeless have the best stuff, why sell it?     There are loads of clothes available to our service users, all of good quality. But if we get a valuable item, its sale on ebay or at auction can raise really useful funds for our work. What is wrong with this?

I bet the staff and non service user volunteers take all the good stuff      This never, never happens. Staff do not get first choice. All clothes are used as above. If staff want something, they can bid on ebay or go to the charity shop when it opens.

They should give the clothes away free     We have answered this above. People can earn clothes through volunteering too.

They are ungrateful telling people they don’t want any donations..   We aren’t, we are really grateful, but we know what is needed and it is best to ask us before deciding what the homeless need and what we can store. They are lots of other people out there with the same idea as you… which means sometimes we get too much of the wrong thing.

Why don’t you want another two thousand knitted hats?    They are lovely, but there is  a limit to what people can wear. If you decide you want to help the homeless, contact us or look at our webpages to see what we always need. A hat is lovely, but what people really need is pants… (and food, which is always essential – but we do get too much pasta and beans! Check what food we need too!)