Host a Clothing Swap to Benefit Domestic Violence Shelters

Image courtesy Swap For Good

The numbers are sobering. In March of 2010, in one 24-hour period, more than 65,000 women and children recieved life saving assistance from a domestic violence shelter. And in one day, more than 10,000 of these women and children’s needs were unmet simply due to lack of funds.

Experts believe that a bad economy can trigger an increase in violence and abuse, especially towards women. And the stats show is: most shelters have reported an increase in women seeking assistance since the Recession started. Which is why funding programs and services that meet these needs is so important right now.

I’m catching the tail end of this, but October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It’s no wonder many people might not know; since October is also home to the enormous Breast Cancer Awareness Month (think pink here!), domestic violence kind of gets overshadowed.

But not today. Because I found an awesome organization, Swap For Good, that is trying to organize clothing swaps to help raise money for domestic violence shelters.

Here’s the 7-second skinny:

  • You have a lot of clothes you’re not wearing.
  • You have a lot of friends who have a lot of clothes they’re not wearing.
  • You’d all like to have some “new to you” threads to wear.
  • You all want to raise awareness and funds to benefit your local domestic violence shelter.
  • You sign up with Swap For Good to get involved.

Yep, it’s that simple.

How Your Shelter Benefits

Your local shelter will benefit from your clothing swap in a simple way: they’ll get an infusion of cash.

When you decide to get involved, you set a goal of how much money you’d like to raise for your local shelter. Then, you send an email to all your friends, asking them to attend. What do they need to bring? They need to bring any clothes, shoes or bags they’d like to swap, and some cash for donation.

The end result is that everyone wins. You and your friends get some great “new” clothes, and your local domestic violence shelter gets a sorely needed check. Swap For Good even has a database of shelters you can search by zipcode to find your closest one.

I love this idea because it’s a fun and mutually beneficial way to donate to an essential service in our community. Without these shelters, many women would have no way to escape an abusive relationship. They, and their kids, might end up on the street or even worse without this service. It’s definitely a cause we should all be supporting more, myself included!

If you don’t have the time or energy to host your own swap, Swap for Good has a database of events that are scheduled already. If there’s one in your area then you can simply sign up to attend that one!

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