Let nothing go to waste

On the first day of the year, I sat down to write my plans for the year. And one of the items on that list is to give more.

I’ve always asked myself this question: what can I give that will really change the world, that will really have any immediate effect on people who are really in need? A lot of things come to mind but there is always an excuse that stops me from being able to do something about it.

And then it struck me. How about giving those things that usually go to waste, year after year? And the one thing that comes to mind immediately is clothes.

In some parts of Nigeria, clothes are a touchy subject. I’ve heard stories of how clothes are used against people who gave them out. But will that stop me from doing what I need to for those in need? The answer to that is no.

So I went on Twitter to ask where I can donate old clothes which I don’t wear anymore and I got various responses which I’ll share here.

Here are some of the responses

  • Church: this was by far the most popular response to my request. Some churches have welfare departments who give food, clothing and other essential items to those who are in need. If you’re led to give out some items, go to your church and make enquiries. Some churches that people referenced include Daystar and the Catholic Church. I’m pretty sure that there are other churches doing this.
  • Charities: there are charities created specifically to cater those in need of the most basic  items, especially to those in crisis spots such as the North Eastern part of Nigeria.
  • Aboki (I prefer to call any of them by name though): Someone suggested that I give it to a segment of people of hausa origin who work as security guards / traders. Although I appreciate that it’s a thoughtful gesture, I can’t do this unless one of them actually informs me that he’s in need of clothes. I wouldn’t want to insult an entire group of people by assuming that they are in need based on a stereotype.

After I made my request, there was someone who asked me why I needed to make such a request in Social Media. He wanted to make me feel terrible for trying to  make a difference. Well I have answer for that person: I searched on Google and didn’t find anything on where I can donate old clothes to those who need them. Perhaps he can curate a list of organizations that are involved in this, I’ll gladly share with my friends and family who feel the same way about this.

So you might ask, what’s the point of all I have written? I just wanted you to know that I’ve learnt something in this new year, and it is that next time you feel like you have nothing to give, just remember that you can give away those things that you feel are no longer useful to you. They might be useful to someone else, don’t throw them away.

If you feel that you can make a change in the lives of people who are in need, lets talk. Drop me a note at this link, and I’ll get in touch with you. Looking forward to hearing from you (yes you).

Express Yourself!