Over the summer, I went through my closet and discovered that I had entirely too many clothes for my everyday needs. I decided that there had to be an organization that would put these clothes to good use. After much research, I found AFAB, an organization that states that they are "good for our planet" and "good for the less fortunate".
The purpose of this endeavor was to take my unused clothes and donate them to those less fortunate in areas around the world. I figured that with the amount of clothes I came up with, if I could get the community to also donate unused clothing, perhaps I could make a difference.
I contacted AFAB and they gave me a deadline. I then created a flyer and distributed it to the local elementary schools. I also put an advertisement on freecycle.com. My Girl Scout troop also became involved in this.
I started with my Girl Scout troop. Several Girl Scout mothers dropped off garbage bags of clothes. We stored these bags in my garage. I picked up the donations from the three elementary schools once a week. The advertisement on freecycle.com generated many responses, some of which included local churches and second hand stores looking to get rid of their excess clothing. We had those Girl Scout mothers with big cars pick up at these locations and drop off in my garage. I would be outside almost every day helping these selfless mothers unload the huge bags out of their cars.
Trying to find an organization that would collect the clothing and give it to a third world country was rather difficult. Salvation Army wanted to sell them at local thrift shops, as was Good Will. I had to find an organization that would pick up these donations and send them to a deserving third world country. I hooked up with AFAB and discovered that they not only took clothing, but curtains, blankets, boots, coats, towels, and anything that could help a less fortunate country with a bit of humanity.
I am now on my fifth collection of items to be sent through AFAB. The Girl Scouts, the school system, and the local churches are all working together, as well as many single family residences. As a community, we have sent over 5,000 pounds of clothes. Our goal is to reach 10,000 pounds by the end of the year.
I was able to negotiate four cents a pound and donated this money to the local Girl Scouts.
The need I saw when a friend of mine went to Africa inspired me. She went to Ghana, West Africa and worked to bring water and electricity to a remote village. After seeing her scrapbook, I could not wait until I had my life-changing adventure. Seeing the lifelong bonds she made and the impact she had on the village, I longed to do the same.