Motherhood has taught me many lessons. Among them is the fact that kids will outgrow clothes in the blink of an eye. I count it a true blessing that Caleb has more clothes than he needs and doesn’t want for a thing (besides this shirt). When he can no longer wear something, I decide if I want to save it or donate it.
When I have adult clothes to give away, I usually take them to the Goodwill. However, I feel differently about baby clothes. If a mom needs baby items, I want to make sure that she can find them for free.
Before I had Caleb, one of my friends and my manager gave me some great items for no cost. I believe in paying it forward so I have donated clothes to other moms in my network. However, I am in a season right now where I have been passing along gently loved items in other venues. Here is a roundup of five places to donate baby clothes in the Chicago area.
The Perfect Cadence
The Perfect Cadence is an incredible organization that aims to celebrate and shower new moms with love and items for their little ones. Twice a year, they set up a pop-up shop where families can shop wonderful items for free. Aside from those events, they host baby showers and prepare welcome baskets for new moms. The nonprofit is run by my friends, George and Suheily, who started The Perfect Cadence in memory of their daughter, Cadence. On their website, you can read more of their story and find out how you can support their work.
Share Our Spare
Last year, I rounded up some friends for a morning of volunteering with Share Our Spare. During our time there, we created more than 30 pre-sorted bags of clothing for babies and toddlers that were donated to different agencies across the city. Every month, they have a couple of days scheduled for drop-off. Get all of the details on their site. P.S. If your crew is looking to give back, they have a Sip and Sort project that involves wine. Just saying!
Cradles to Crayons
Cradles to Crayons is a national organization that expanded to Chicago earlier this year and has been working hard to help provide needed items for local children ever since. The organization creates KidPacks of new and gently used items for children between the ages of 0 to ten years old. The great thing about this organization is the wide range of ages that they serve. This is perfect if you are trying to donate items from your older kids as well.
Many community churches offer baby items to families during outreach activities, like food pantries. If you are near Des Plaines, The Bridge Community Church hosts “Breakfast with Babies” the second Saturday of each month. Families enjoy a delicious breakfast, kids activities, and a shop where parents can pick out items (including diapers and formula) for children up to two years old. I have served during this event on a couple of occasions and am always blessed during and after.
Shelters are another valuable place where community members can not only access needed services, like housing and counseling, but also clothing. Many women’s shelters also house children so there is a possibility that they may accept donations of baby items and clothing. Not sure where to begin? Ask your family and friends or pose the question on Facebook. Someone in your network can hopefully point you in the right direction.
Tip: When preparing your donation, please ask in advance what the organization doesn’t accept. Some groups prefer new (not used) clothes for newborns or won’t accept pajamas, so it’s important to know what will be useful.
I would love for this post to be a living resource, so please add in other locations or places into the comments section. Where can one donate baby clothes in Chicago?