Did you know that Long Islanders throw away more than 500 million pounds of clothing every year? As a result, discarded shirts, pants and other types of apparel are rapidly increasing the size of our local landfills. Through Big Brothers Big Sisters donations drives, we do our part to help the environment by diverting 212,000 pounds of toxic textiles from landfills each week.
Although most people recycle bottles and cans, a smaller percentage give their gently used clothes to donation drives. However, textile recycling also decreases waste and pollution. This helps our planet by decreasing carbon dioxide emissions and the level of harmful pollutants in the water supplies. Clothing takes years to decompose as it emits a harmful greenhouse gas called methane.
This isn’t the only way recycling clothes limits environmental impact. Did you know 700 gallons of water are used to manufacture a single cotton T-shirt? If 300 million Americans recycled a T-shirt, it would save 210 billion gallons of water and one billion pounds of CO2.
On Long Island, there are four SAVERS locations: Commack, Holbrook, Medford and West Hempstead. Every item in these local thrift stores comes from Big Brothers Big Sisters donations. The proceeds benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island programs. We also donate clothing and household items to families in our program on a case by case basis.
Afterwards, the remainder of the donations are shipped to other SAVERS thrift stores across the country or even around the world. Clothing that is not suitable for re-sale is used as rag weight, becoming filler for things like couches and chairs.
The Donation Center opened in 1997 to help Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island continue to serve Long Island children and families.
We send our fleet of trucks through the surrounding areas six days a week to pick up gently used items at your doorstep, including clothing, coats, shoes and small household items.
The Donation Center uses these donations to fund its initiatives, which make a positive difference in the lives of local youth through a wide range of programs, including mentoring in one-on-one and group settings for both community-based and site-based programs.