giving back

Service Ideas: Helping Those in Need Dress to Impress

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There are so many easy ways to give. This week's challenge centers around opportunities to give that help "dress," or clothe, those less able to clothe themselves, or opportunities that incorporate the word "dress."

To start, we invite you to go to your closet or your kids' closet right now and pick out five things that haven't been worn in a year, put them in your car, and do the following:

  1. Take them to your local women's shelter, to help women who have had to flee their abusive partners, many times only with the clothes on their back.
  2. Donate to Goodwill, which sells your clothing donations to help fund job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based programs for people who have disabilities, lack education or job experience, or face employment challenges.
  3. Done to Salvation Army, which helps rehabilitate adults who have fallen on hard times and can also pick up your donations.
  4. Donate to The Women's Alliance or Dress for Success. See this post for more information about them or other ideas on where to donate used clothing.
  5. Make a simple little girl's party dress, if you have seamstress skills. If you don't, buy an inexpensive dress, and mail it to your local children's hospital.
  6. Host a one-time book club at your house with three or four friends, and choose a book that ad-"dress"-es an important contemporary social issue.
  7. Call a local assisted living center and ask if there is someone who has an approaching birthday who might like a couple of visitors, and take balloons, etc. to dress up their room or wheelchair.
  8. Find the address of the publisher of one of your favorite books, and pen an actual letter of thanks to its author, like this woman did.
  9. Grab any non-dress shoes (i.e., running shoes) that you haven't worn in a year but that are still in good shape, and donate it to One World Running, an international program promoting an awareness of health, fitness and nutrition by providing running shoes to those in need in the United States and around the world. Here's where you can take them.
  10. Help acquaint your kids with the dress of other cultures by helping them play this "Buffalo Parts" game about Native American wear or breaking out some cardboard, ribbon, and felt to make simple versions of these Russian clothes.

How Will You Give to Others This Week?

  • Have you ever done any of these things? How did it go?
  • What other ideas do you have for providing others with clothes or doing service involving the word "dress"?
  • How have others given to you this week and what difference has that made in your life?

How Else Can You Make a Difference This Season?

  • Commit to do one act of kindness/service based on the week’s challenge.
  • Leave a comment with ideas relating to the week’s challenge as well as your experience(s) performing it.
  • Enter to win this week’s giveaway.
  • Join #gno this Tuesday on Twitter to connect with other Mom It Forward moms about the challenge.
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