Editor’s note: In the June 5 edition, U.S. 1 published a “new in town” article about Ameritex, an Everett Drive-based company that gathers used clothing and sells it to bulk retailers, sometimes partnering with a non-profit that helps publicize the clothing collection drive and then receives a share of the proceeds when the clothes are sold..

The article attracted the attention of the Rescue Mission of Trenton and its chief executive officer, who submitted the following statement.

by Mary Gay Abbott-Young

The request is simple: please deposit your gently used clothing in a metal bin to help those in need. The donation bins are ubiquitous — the parking lots of area grocery stores, pharmacies, regional shopping centers, and even your workplace.

Often times the donation bins are unmarked and only request your clothing or shoes. Other donation bins might have a company name on them that you are unfamiliar with. Your intent is to donate your items so that they get into the hands of someone who is in need, but what you might not know is how your donations will be used once you have deposited them into those bins.

Many of the donation bins that you contribute to are for-profit companies that have, at best, made a deal with a non-profit organization to use their charitable name and give a very small percentage of the donation value for that privilege. How can you be certain that a significant portion of your donations are helping those in need? You can eliminate the middle man, support a local charity, and help rebuild lives by considering the Rescue Mission of Trenton.

The Rescue Mission of Trenton has been serving the Mercer County community for nearly 100 years. Since 1915, we have provided food for the hungry, shelter for the homeless, and counseling for the addicted. In addition, our salvage operation has provided items to hundreds of those in need in the City of Trenton and Mercer County. Our Mission Store, one of the largest retail outlets in the City of Trenton, is a landmark of affordable clothing, furniture, bric-a-brac and home appliances. Additionally, our emergency shelter, which serves over 1,400 individuals annually, distributes thousands of items free of charge to those through our Courtesy Store.

Every article of clothing you donate in one of our donation bins helps your local community. As one of the oldest non-profits in the City of Trenton, we know very well the great need of our community. We have seen first-hand the depths of despair that accompanies homelessness, economic poverty, and addiction. When you donate your clothing, shoes, furniture, or household items to the Rescue Mission you are providing opportunities for your neighbors in need and helping us rebuild lives. We rely on the support of our community to help us to continue to provide services to our residents and clients.

Your contributions help provide employment opportunities for residents rebuilding their lives, clothing for those in need, and generate revenue for the continued operations of our social service programs. In addition, your donations help reduce solid waste. According to the EPA, one person trashes 65 pounds of clothing per year! The Mission’s salvage operation seeks out every way an item can be recycled and be put to good reuse and reduces our carbon footprint. How? Almost 100% of clothing and textiles can be reused instead of ending up in a landfill. Clothing and other apparel items that you think is outdated or won’t fit any longer will provide for someone else. Even your furniture or household items can be reused to furnish the homes of low-income individuals.

The Rescue Mission does three things with your contributions. Donations are distributed free of charge to those in need through our Emergency Shelter’s Courtesy Store. It is also sold in our Mission Store, an affordable outlet for the Trenton community, and all proceeds from our store are directed back to the continued operation of our programs. Lastly, clothing or textiles that cannot be sold or distributed is sold to generate revenue in support of our continued social service programs. Without the generosity of our local community, the Rescue Mission would be unable to supply our residents and clients with basic, human needs.

We are so grateful for your support and the support of other non-profit organizations while we all work together to instill hope in those who have been broken. We partner with other local non-profits and we are proud to work alongside them. However, the need is becoming greater. Last year, our emergency shelter provided 54,575 bed nights to 1,418 individuals experiencing homelessness and hunger. Coupled with the loss of funding sources, a decrease in clothing and furniture donations has highlighted our immediate need.

There are numerous ways to support the Rescue Mission and we make it very easy for you to donate. We offer free home pick-up throughout Mercer and Bucks counties and accept clothing, furniture, and household items. You can call 1-800-528-8825 or complete an online request on our website to schedule your free home pick-up today. We also partner with other local non-profits to host collection drives that benefit those in need in Mercer County. The Rescue Mission also participates in Recycling Days, community events, flea markets, and rummage sales and can be on-site with our Mission truck to collect the donations. You and your organization can also host a site for one of our donation bins and stand proud that your support is making a difference.

Our new corporate salvage program, Closet to Community, partners with local businesses to form green teams that host collection drives. Partners work with the Rescue Mission to host drives to benefit your neighbors in need and strengthen your ties to the community. And if you find yourself always on the run, we have 27 donation bins located throughout Mercer and Bucks counties for your convenience. Visit our website, www.rmtrenton.org, to view all donation bin locations.

Help us directly and become a host site for one of our donation bins. You can take pride in the fact that 100 percent of your donations are improving your local community and helping those in need in Mercer County.

Please consider the Rescue Mission when you donate your clothing or shoes and think of how your contribution can change the life of your neighbor. Contributions to the Rescue Mission, a 501 (c) (3) charity, are tax-deductible and we provide tax receipts. Your donation of new or gently used clothing will help your local community, reduce solid waste, and help us rebuild lives. For more information on our salvage operation, please contact Barrett Young at barrett.young@rmtrenton.org.

For more information on the Rescue Mission, please visit our website at www.rmtrenton.org.

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