Twice a year, our community has a massive clothing drive. This wonderful organization sorts, packs, and ships thousands of bags of clothing to various communities in Israel. It's called Yad Leah, which means the "hand of Leah".
My dear friend MS devotes countless hours in commandeering this operation. It's a huge undertaking, and it's always done beautifully and respectfully. What's special about Yad Leah is that it assists different communities in Israel of varying religious degrees. The clothing is sorted not just based on gender and size, but with great reverence to a particular neighborhood's religious standards of modesty. For instance, there are places that would have no use for my old bikinis😉.
All the donated items must be in good condition, keeping in mind the utmost in sensitivity towards the recipient. If I wouldn't wear something ripped and stained, nor should they. This process isn't just about me getting to clean out my closets, which I LOVE (I'm a huge organizer by nature), but it's really about carefully deciding how and what to give, which is the underlying message of Tzeddaka (charity). The care shown towards the person in need always comes first and foremost. My daughter recently told me she feels ungrateful giving away perfectly good items from her closet. I responded that she shouldn't feel that way, since it really is going to the right place to the right people. That comforted her, and I was happy we had the chance to discuss it. Yad Leah sets up the clothing like a store in their different locations, so that the needy families can select and peruse with dignity. Just like a regular shopper. Yes, it feels extremely gross and wasteful when I wind up with two dozen bags of things to give away. I'm always slightly sickened at the excess and accumulation. There are people with literally no possessions. But, as I told my daughter, we are in the position to help clothe others in such a respectful way, by turning clutter into kindness. Turning Spring cleaning into Spring meaning. 🌷🌼🌸😊