This Friday is the day for the annual clothing drive for the homeless, sponsored by the lawyer-led Gifts for the Homeless, Inc. Volunteers at firms around the city will be gathering donations from colleagues and delivering them to a central sorting and distribution point in Southwest D.C.
Last year, according to the non-profit organization, more than 300 volunteers processed more than 4,000 bags of gently-used clothing and other items, including blankets. All were delivered to homeless shelters in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Money donations are also accepted, and with no paid staff and no overhead, 100 per cent of the money donated goes to purchase new clothing for the homeless.
Gifts for the Homeless was founded in 1986 by law firms and law-related businesses. Since its inception, through the clothing drive and its annual battle of law firm bands, it has raised more than $3.5 million. The National Law Journal is one of many sponsoring organizations.
"Reduced government spending at all levels disproportionately affects the homeless, as well as others who need help," says Foley & Lardner partner Joseph Edmondson Jr., who heads up the clothing drive. "We hope that the D.C. legal community will step up and help out those who are less fortunate." Edmondson said the greatest need this year, as in the past, is for warm clothing for men and children.