Our goal is to send only quality clothing, shoes and other items that have been requested by the organizations we help. Shipping is very expensive so it only makes sense to send items that are new or in gently used condition. Nice clothing helps build self-esteem, gives children confidence and may be the deciding factor whether a child even attends school. If an organization (some hospitals) cannot accept used items we’ll make note of that on the donation request page.
Checklist for used clothing
- Make sure zippers, snaps and buttons work and are securely attached.
- Check hems and seams for tears.
- Check for stains and/or areas of wear
- Make sure items are clean and recently laundered.
- Washable items only, that includes washable wool
- Make sure no item poses a choking/strangulation risk for small children
- Send 0-3 or 3-6 month sizes for newborn babies.
Do Not Send
- Used underwear
- Clothing that is stained or in need of repair
- Clothing that isn’t in “like new” or “gently used” condition.
- Outdated clothing.
- Dress clothing such as suits and fancy dresses.
- Clothing that must be dry-cleaned or hand washed.
- NB size clothing, babies are larger on the Rez.
- Dirty and/or worn out shoes. Please wash athletic type shoes and clean/polish others including soles.
Checklist for Knitted or Crocheted Items
- Use soft, washable yarn for babies and children,
- Use solid, non-lacy patterns for warmer garments and to keep small fingers and toes from getting caught.
- Weave in all loose ends securely.
- Make sure no item poses a choking/strangulation risk for children (drawstrings, loose buttons, etc.)
- Make sweaters 3-6 months or larger for babies
Checklist for Sewn Items
- Use simple patterns for children’s clothing with elastic waists for pants, shorts and skirts. Make it special with appliques, trims, etc.
- Pre-wash new fabric to remove chemicals and prevent shrinking
- Finish seam edges, if possible, with serger or zigzag. Clothing may be handed down many times.
- Add size tags found here and mark the back of pants, shirts, etc. with piece of ribbon to make dressing easier.
- Use soft fabric for babies such as flannel and cotton knits.
- Use bright kid colors in solids and prints for garments and for contrast on cuffs, collars, etc. to brighten up darker colors.
We’ll be concentrating on babies and children to age 12 so clothing in sizes 0/3 months up to 16/18 or adult S should be adequate for most. Remember children on the reservation are heavier and taller so if in doubt use the larger measurement.