Despite a recent warm wave, it’s still winter, and for many, it’s a stressful time of year. There are those who have warm clothes abound in their closets, but for some, a good winter jacket is a hard necessity to come by.

That’s why it’s important around this time of year to donate clothes to local nonprofits.

In Athens, there are many options for clothing donations and many options to receive clothing. Other than thrift shops, there are many local organizations that include clothing as part of their programs. 

The Salvation Army of Athens and Meigs Counties, based in The Plains, is a large organization that gives out clothing and other utilities. Although many Salvation Armies do run thrift stores, do not mistake the organization for one. It is a Salvation Army that gives out clothing and utilities to those who need them.

Winter coats are always welcome, as well as in-season clothing to keep up with demand. It can sometimes be a challenge that more women’s clothing is donated than men’s clothing, and there is a steady demand for children’s clothing. Donations should be checked to make sure they are in good condition.

“The biggest problem is that we always receive donations that are very dirty or unclean,” Salvation Army service unit manager Justin Gray said.

Drop-off days are Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Salvation Army location in The Plains, 70 N. Plains Road. A quick washing of the clothes before handing them in would greatly reduce the amount of clothing that has to be disposed of or cleaned.

Other than the Salvation Army, there are other options when donating clothes. The American Red Cross runs a nationwide program in which a person can donate clothes to a Goodwill in their name, and Goodwill will give a voucher to the local American Red Cross that can be used to redeem items at Goodwill. The American Red Cross gives those vouchers to families in accordance with the size of the family.

“When we have clients for people with a lot of needs, this helps give them money to get clothes on their back,” Jane Patton, American Red Cross director for Athens County, said.

An alternative to Goodwill donations is the New-to-You Thrift Shoppe, a nonprofit founded in 1976 by the Athens County Foster Parents Association to provide funding to directly benefit foster children.

Profits from the store go directly to the bank account of the manager of the board to be given to aid foster children. Some clothing from the store is sent to World Mission, a large organization that will use the donated clothing to aid individuals internationally.

New-To-You Thrift Shoppe, located at 90 Columbus Road, will take other donations in addition to clothing. Donations can be brought to their dock 24/7. Also, the shop does not only run a thrift shop — they will give out clothing to those who need it.

“If they have a case worker through Job and Family Services Center, they can come in and get what they need,” New-To-You Thrift Shoppe manager Sonya Miller said.