Girls program collecting used textiles in any condition

The holidays are the perfect time for giving, and charitable organizations of all kinds benefit from the seasonal spirit that prompts West Linn residents to give money, time, food and just about anything else they are asked for.

The seemingly endless choices of ways to give can create a certain amount of donation fatigue, however. That’s why the West Linn High School girls basketball teams’ fundraiser is so SUBMITTED PHOTO - The WLHS girls basketball teams are holding an unusual fundraiser, asking for donations of household textiles.

It’s called Clothes for the Cause, and it’s an opportunity to turn unwanted household textiles into cash for the team. Community members are being asked to donate shoes, towels, outerwear, sheets, blankets, drapes, clothing, sheets and stuffed animals.

Items can be in any condition — that includes things that are stained, ripped, torn, burned or simply worn out. Only a few items are on the “no” list, including glass, breakables, electronics, pet beds, bed pillows, uniforms, carpeting or hotel linens.

“The things that are reusable get reused. If you donate a nice coat, it will be reused, not recycled,” event organizer Meg Leonard said. She is the parent of a freshman player on the junior varsity team.

“Things that are not usable, like rags or an old throw rug that’s not in good shape, those materials get shredded and recycled,” Leonard said. Non-reusable items may be recycled into insulation or wiping rags or broken down to reclaimed fiber.

The team is working with an organization called GemText, which works with groups like the basketball teams to set up, promote and manage the eco-friendly textile collection drive. GemText will pay the team between 15 and 20 cents per pound for the collected textiles. A typical white trash bag full of items weighs about 24 pounds, meaning the team will receive between $3.50 and $5 per bag.

“We’re hoping every girl can bring in 15 bags,” Leonard said. With 25 players on the JV and varsity teams combined, that could mean thousands of dollars for the team. The team is also inviting the public to drop off donations at the high school’s Tripp parking lot Dec. 23 from 10 a.m. to noon, Dec. 26 from 2 to 4 p.m., Dec. 29 from noon to 2 p.m. and Jan. 1 and 2 from 10 a.m. to noon.

All donations should be packed in a tightly closed plastic bag to prevent items from getting wet.

“Our Yankee Candle fundraiser just wrapped up,” Leonard said. “It’s a consumer-related fundraiser. This one is the other side of consuming. ... It might inspire people to clean things out before the holidays. I know in my family we have lots of things to give to Goodwill after the holidays. It’s a good time to donate.

“It’s inspiring in other ways,” she said. “It’s not so much where people think, ‘I’ve got to buy something.’ Instead, they think, ‘I’ve got to clean out my closets.’”

For more information about the fundraiser, contact Leonard by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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