Clean your closet and help a neighbor stay warm this winter

Local organizations now taking gently used winter clothing donations.
Closet with coats on hangers
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons
Sift through your overflowing piles of clothes and feel good doing it.

Spring cleaning is already a thing, but we Midwesterners should get in the habit of sifting through our closets in the fall, too. By unloading winter apparel now, you can put gently used coats, jackets and other warm clothing in the possession of people with a greater need for them as temperatures plummet. Plus an autumn spruce-up helps make room for new cozy additions to your wardrobe.

The following local organizations are currently taking seasonal clothing. But be aware that many donation centers are closed due to COVID-19. Be sure to check websites or call ahead for regulations and hours to avoid any confusion.

Middleton Outreach Ministry: The clothing center at Middleton Outreach Ministry is currently accepting all sizes of fall clothing, in addition to bedding and kitchenware. Drop off times are Mondays 9-11 a.m., Wednesdays 2-4 p.m. and Fridays 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Koats for Kids: Over the past 30-plus years, Klinke Cleaners has been able to rally Madisonians to donate more than 328,000 winter jackets. This year through Oct. 10, folks can drop off any gently used coats, hats, mittens, gloves, scarves or snow pants at any Klinke location. In partnership with the Community Action Coalition For South Central Wisconsin, donated items will then be allocated to local neighbors-in-need.

Bethel Madison: While the Homeless Ministry at Bethel Madison always accepts cash donations, they are currently requesting men’s pants, underwear, socks and light jackets, in addition to women’s socks and underwear. Stop by the Pentecost Room on Tuesdays or Thursdays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or drop your donations off at the reception desk.

Waunakee Neighborhood Connection: All like-new clothing — in addition to books, pots and pans, sports equipment, small appliances and more — are being collected for the Waunakee Neighborhood Connection’s free store. Drop your goods off Monday, Wednesday and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 208 South Century Ave.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul: With seven Dane County store locations, St. Vinny’s is a clear option for donating any clothing, furniture and household items you no longer need. An attendant will grab your donations from the trunk or backseat of your vehicle. Check your nearest location for times when donations will be accepted.

East Madison Community Center: Children’s winter coats and boots, waterproof mittens, umbrellas, hats and more are among the requested items at the East Madison Community Center. See a full list of accepted items here, as EMCC is trying to fill as many holiday wish list items as they can for its patron families.

Sam Jones is an editorial intern at Madison Magazine.