I knew that Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful (KNIB) was having another one of their community-wide clothing drives this Saturday even before their announcement showed up in my email bin. My clue was finding several plastic bags in front of my closet, placed there by my wife, Amy. Somehow, she always knows when there's going to be a clothing drive, and she welcomes the opportunity for clearing out the closets.

So, even as I write this, those bags (now filled) are waiting to be placed in my car. KNIB makes it so easy to donate, that my hard work (deciding which clothing items haven't been worn in over a year, which qualifies those items for donation, isn't as easy as it seems) is over. KNIB's volunteers are ready and waiting when you pull up at any of their drop-off locations, so all you have to do is pop the hatch, the trunk, or open the back doors, and they'll grab your items, give you a receipt if you wish, and send you on your way.

The details, from KNIB:

Clothing Drive drop-off sites, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Saturday, July 9:
Belvidere: Belvidere Township Office, 8200 Fairgrounds Road
Cherry Valley: Schnucks, 2206 Barnes Boulevard
Loves Park: Schnucks, 1810 Harlem Road
Roscoe: Schnucks, 4860 Hononegah Road
Rockford: Schnucks: 3134 11th Street; 2642 Charles Street; 6410 East State Street;
2601 North Mulford Road; 3150 North Rockton Avenue.

Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful is recruiting volunteers for a three-hour shift, either 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., or 11:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., to staff each donation site. Bag handlers lift items from donor cars; greeters will provide a calendar of other recycling events and offer an opportunity to receive updates about future activities. About 120 volunteers are required to staff all nine sites.

Lori Gummow, executive director of KNIB says:

“Residents may drop off clothing left over from garage sales, estate clean-outs, or if you have items that children have outgrown. Not only is there a need for clothes throughout the world, but what can no longer be worn can be used to make fiberfill for items like the lining in the trunk of your car,” she said. All items should be clean and dry, in plastic bags and with hangers removed. No boxes. The agency will accept men’s, women’s or children’s clothing and shoes, hats, belts, purses, soft-sided luggage, throw rugs, curtains, stuffed toys, sheets, blankets, pillows and towels."

To volunteer to help out, or for more info, click here, or call (815) 637-1343.