It became a yearly event in our house quite a while ago. I'd come home to find a bunch of bags in front of my closet, only to be disappointed to find the bags completely empty. When I asked why there were empty bags lying in front of the closet, my wife Amy informed me that Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful (KNIB) was holding a clothing drive, and that I should get cracking. As in, clean out the closet, fill the bags, and load up the car.

And, we've kept doing it, year after year, bag after bag. This year will be no exception. I will need to "get cracking" though, because KNIB's clothing drive is coming up next Saturday, May 14th.

Some details from KNIB:

Saturday, May 14, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful volunteers will collect donations of clothing at all Rockford area Schnucks Markets, including Cherry Valley, Loves Park, Rockford and Roscoe, as well as in Boone County at the Belvidere Township Office.

As to what they're looking for, and how they would prefer to receive it:

All items should be dry, and in plastic bags with hangers removed. No boxes.  The agency will accept such items as men’s, women’s and children’s clothing and shoes, hats, belts, purses, soft-sided luggage, throw rugs, curtains, stuffed toys, sheets, blankets, pillows and towels. 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 100 volunteers are required to staff all nine sites.

As you might imagine, this sort of event just can't happen without a volunteer effort. KNIB is looking for volunteers to handle a 3 hour shift, from 8:30am-11:30am, or 11:15am-2:30pm. If you'd like to help, just call KNIB at 815-637-1343, or visit their website.

Locations of Clothing Drive drop-off sites, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Saturday, May 14: 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.