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Threads Handbook 2022

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General Best Practices & Tips

Gathering Clothes

There are many ways you can collect used clothes. One way that has worked well is putting donation boxes in dorms, fraternities/sororities, churches and apartments on campus.
Have everyone involved in planning the event do a “Closet Cleanout.”
Encourage each team member to collect 10 items from their families over the summer.
If you choose a date for Threads after fall break, blast reminders the week before break—through email, social media, etc.—for members and students to collect clothes while they are home to bring back.
Collect more clothes than you think you will need and invite more volunteers to sort than you think you will need. A greater selection of clothes yields a higher percentage of foot-traffic that decides to purchase something.

Sorting Clothes

Evaluate how dirty the clothes are. You may need to wash them before selling them.
Organize your clothes how you think it will work best for your space and campus.
One suggestion would be to separate clothes with the store price tags still on them from the rest. Section these off when you hold the event and price them higher. Or event only price these items.

Pricing Clothes

“Pay What You Want” Method
This method, used by Baylor, is a great way to get people to pay more than they maybe would or than you would ask and also cuts down on time. This is a high risk high reward method. Some people will give less than they probably should, and some people will give more! This also helps the chances of someone coming by, not finding anything they want, but paying a donation anyway.
Tell people that they can pay whatever they’d like to donate for x item. But, have a separate rack full of nicer brands or newer items that you price at a minimum price to ensure that there’s a base pay.
Make sure there is a person manning the check out area who will make sure the donation goes through and explain the mission behind Threads and IJM before they pay. This will increase the chances of the possibility of someone donating more.
Price by Category
For small teams who do not have enough leaders and time to price each item, try pricing categories instead of individual items (x dollars for shirts, x dollars for pants, x dollars for shoes, etc.) Put up a sign with the prices for each category.
You can also use color-coded stickers that are easy to find at Target or Amazon to price individually if you have capacity. Make sure to post signs that show what each color means.

Event Location

You want to choose a location that students frequent (i.e. has a lot of foot traffic) and is easily recognizable.
Ideas: the student union, quad on campus, a campus ministry house or church, fraternity or sorority house, etc.
If your event will be outside, you need to come up with a back up plan in case there is bad weather.
Reserve a back up space such as: a spot in the food court, a classroom that people pass by frequently, a lecture hall, etc. Or consider renting or borrowing a large tent.

Payment Process

Don’t wait until the day of the event to understand and plan your process.
Review the process with all team members who will be helping check others out.
For more details and instructions, go to .

For Small Teams

Set expectations: After reviewing this handbook and understanding the tasks involved, make sure you and anyone helping you with the event has a realistic idea of how much time it will take so you can plan well. Also, set expectations around how much is possible and if there are ways you may need to adjust your original vision based on capacity.
Delegate specifically: After level-setting what needs to be done and what is possible, make sure everyone helping has specific tasks. This will help you be able to track better if things are getting done on time.
Invite friends in: If you’re feeling overwhelmed and like you need more help, don’t be afraid to ask more friends to be involved. Maybe one of your team member’s is planning a coffee hang out that they can change to a clothes sorting party. This is also a great way to invite others into the mission and possibly gain some new members!
Know your limits: Even if you set expectations well at the start, you’ll likely have to continue to evaluate and adjust as you go. For instance, maybe the amount of clothing donations coming in is too much and you need to stop collecting more to be able to organize it in time.

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