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Queens Chronicle

Donating clothes is a phone call away

Charities provide pickup service at homes; way to avoid for-profit bins

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Posted: Thursday, July 24, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 11:26 am, Thu Jul 31, 2014.

Looking to donate used clothing but don’t trust that those street-corner bins actually help the needy? There are alternatives and you don’t even have to leave your home.

Last week, Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside) announced he wanted to enact legislation in Albany banning for-profit bins that would also allow the city to remove them immediately.

Braunstein said they are an eyesore, attract vagrants and prey on people, who think they are donating to a worthy cause.

The alternative is just a phone call away. One provider is the United War Veterans Council, which has a recycling program that collected a monthly average of 90 tons of clothing and household goods in the city last year.

UWVC offers “white glove concierge pickup service,” whereby residents or building managers can log onto uwvcpickup.org or call (888) 821-8982 to arrange a clothing pickup.

“We believe that these numbers only scratch the surface of what UWVC recycling can do for our city and for what the public can do to support our veterans,” said UWVC President Vince McGowan in a prepared statement.

Proceeds from the sale of the clothing are invested in programs that provide a wide range of services to area veterans, McGowan added.

“With over 40,000 new veterans projected to arrive in New York City over the next decade, UWVC Recycling will play an important role in ensuring that these men and women receive the care and assistance they deserve,” he said.

And don’t be swayed by fliers left at homes from groups in Brooklyn that pick up clothing. They are not all nonprofits.

Some legitimate Queens-based charities that also pick up clothing include:

• Salvation Army Thrift Store in Long Island City. Call (212) 757-2311.

• African Center for Community Empowerment in St. Albans. It is not picking up this month, but will be in the future. Call (718) 264-9638.

• Corona Self Help Center. Call (718) 458-0108.

If you want to donate directly to thrift shops, there are several in Queens including the Martin Luther School Thrift Shop in Maspeth, Goodwill Thrift Shop in Astoria, Dress for Success in Jamaica and Free Synagogue of Flushing Thrift Store.

For a complete list, go to the city’s website at nyc.gov/stuffexchange.

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