Preparation for Activity
- Consult with the congregation's Social Action committee and congregational leaders to select an organization to work with and to arrange logistics for collecting and delivering used clothing. Your community is like to have an organization that helps people who are homeless and have difficulty keeping clothes nice, one that engages developmentally disabled people to spruce up and display used clothing for the public to purchase at low prices, or a specialized agency such as one that provides professional clothing to help women look their best for job interviews.
- Invite the organization to send a representative to give a ten-minute presentation to the children. Prepare the speaker to describe who needs the clothing, why, and how the donated clothing will be used.
Description of Activity
Participants lead the congregation to recycle families' unused or gently used clothing to share with neighbors.
Say, in these words or your own:
Sometimes, in a family, younger children wear clothing that their older siblings have outgrown. Sometimes we call these items "hand-me-downs." To some, that might sound like a bad thing, but actually, it is a good practice: reusing clothing helps our environment. It does not make sense to throw away perfectly good clothes.
You can share clothing with people who are not in your family, people in need of more or better clothing. Our congregation could hold a clothing drive and we can help. Are you interested?
Introduce the guest speaker. Invite them to explain the need for donated clothing and what types of clothes to collect.
Allow the children to ask questions.
Point out that the group has learned what kind of clothing other people need. Ask:
Has someone ever shared something with you that you did not want or need? How did that feel? Should we donate items that we want to get rid of or should we find out first what is needed and then see if we have it to give?
Engage the children to help with these tasks:
- Set up boxes or baskets for collection; make signs to post on collection boxes.
- Post flyers and write announcements for congregational newsletter, website, and orders of service; information should specify needed items and the condition they must be in.
- Make a plan for who will collect, sort, and deliver the donations.
After the speaker's presentation, or later, such as while sorting donations, process the activity with these questions:
- How is our clothing collection project an example of sharing?
- Why does it help the earth when people share clothing?
- Why do we suggest the items people should donate? If people just wanted to donate all the clothing they no longer need, is that still sharing? When you want to share something besides clothes you no longer need-like a book, or a snack, or a hug-how can find out if the other person wants or needs it?
Thank the children for sharing and for living their UU values every day!