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Recycling Your Old Clothes to Charity?

Hope For All asks you to give — thoughtfully
     As the temperature drops, Chesapeake Country’s needy citizens depend on our help to stay warm. 
      Aha! you might think: Time to get ride of all my old clothes. Not if you want to do some good. Before you take your worn jeans and old T-shirts to donation boxes, the charity-driven folks at Hope For All suggest you think about the needs of people in need.
• Donate only clean, durable, wearable, washable, warm clothes, preferable polyester. No cotton or wool, no raincoats or leather coats. 
• Wash and fold clothing before donating. 
• Undergarments, socks and shoes should be new, not used.
Up to 60 percent of the clothes donated to Hope For All must be recycled as rags because they’re damaged or dirty.
 
Hope For All
      Hope For All began in 2000 in a volunteer’s home as a small Christian collective striving to provide necessities to people in need. From the beginning, the mission was to reinforce the dignity of disadvantaged people through love and economic support without discrimination. 
     Eighteen years later, the non­profit fills a 14,000-square-foot warehouse with clothing, housewares, furniture and personal items.
      The need for help is bigger still. 
      “This is a hard thing for many people to talk about, but it’s getting worse,” says Hope For All founder Leo Zerhusen. “We hear stories from social workers and counselors every day. Our economy isn’t good for the poorest in this county. It’s easy to get lost.”
     Today, Hope For All fills its warehouse with clothes and household goods, from linens to beds, couches to kitchenware. 
       Through Houses and Homes, “we get families transitioning out of homelessness that now have somewhere new to live,” Zerhusen says. “We go visit them with a basket of toiletries and find out what they need to turn their new space into a home.”
      Hope For All’s Head to Toe clothing program clothes around 3,000 people every year. 
      Demand this year has been non-stop. From September 1 to October 24,      Hope For All received more than 80 requests from families in need.
      “With more and more people able to find only parttime work, getting out of poverty has become more and more difficult,” says Zerhusen, who is motivated by the Christian gospel of charity. “We need help to make sure these families have a chance to make it.”
       The all-volunteer board of directors receives referrals from more than 20 agencies in Anne Arundel County, including the Department of Aging, Department of Veterans, public school system, social services and the Lighthouse Shelter.
     To meet all those referrals, Hope For All needs your help, in donations of goods and money.
        The need for clothing has become so great that many sizes are missing, especially for children in sizes 6 to 18. Needed are winter wear: jeans, long pants, sweatpants, long- and short-sleeve shirts, sweatshirts, pajamas and polyester winter jackets. 
        Donations can be dropped off at HOPE Central Tuesday to Thursday from 9:30am to 3pm, 122 Roesler Rd., Glen Burnie. Call for furniture pickup or to volunteer: 410-766-0372; www.hopeforall.us