A woman recently refused to let her kids wear her sister-in-law’s hand-me-downs and donated some. Some people think this is rude, but we don’t think so.

A user asked, Am I wrong for donating a bunch of hand-me-downs my sister-in-law (SIL) gave us instead of letting my kids wear them?


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The Original Poster’s (OP) sister-in-law (SIL) has kids a few years older than OP’s, and she was kind enough to keep some of their clothes aside to hand down.
OP and family have graciously taken much of the clothing over the years. Some of them end up as rags, some of them have been donated, etc.

What Happened Recently?

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Well, this past month, OP’s SIL handed off a bag of clothes for the summer. OP sorted through the clothes, but there were, unfortunately, some clothes that OP doesn’t encourage her kids to wear.


OP Doesn’t Encourage Wearing Advertised Clothing

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To be clear, the thing that OP doesn’t encourage is clothes advertising something. A brand, media, etc. OP’s kids understand this and know that the rule is that OP will not buy them any of that. 

OP says, “If they want to use their own money just so they can parade around advertising someone’s brand for them, I don’t stop them. And yes, I and their father model this behavior as well. My husband donates his company-branded fleeces as soon as he gets them”.


How Did SIL React To This?

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When OP’s SIL saw the donation pile had many of her offerings, she got mad. She told OP that it was a direct insult to her and her generosity. OP told her that the clothes would still get used by someone.


What Did She Tell

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She told OP, OP was being draconian and snobby and that OP’s kids are afraid to express who they are inside. OP says, “I admit that when she said this, I did laugh because my son is one of those kids who goes to school with nail polish and does things like slam poetry and chalk drawing clubs. Well, that’s the issue. Am I a jerk for donating some of the clothes from my SIL all these years?”


What Else

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OP also clarifies that for clothing donations, they donate directly to a church in their neighborhood that does clothing drives. OP thinks that’s worth noting because places like Goodwill and The Arc have marked up prices due to thrift resellers.


You Sound Snobby

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“You are a jerk. You do sound quite snobby, and you describe accepting the clothes “graciously” and then using them as rags, which is not gracious at all.”


Ask Her First Don’t Just Assume

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“OP, when accepting the clothes, the first thing you should ask is, “After I go through this, what do you want me to do with the items we don’t need, return to you or donate?” That way, it’s crystal clear what your intent is, and SIL can put the clothes to use the way she desires (which may involve skipping over you entirely).

I give hand-me-downs to my sister for her kids all the time, and I preface it by letting her know to pick what she wants and donate the rest so she doesn’t feel obligated to keep items she doesn’t want/need.”


Not A Jerk

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“Not a jerk. OP is still donating clothes. And not to some HUGE nonprofit that will use the profits for advertising and “awareness.” The clothes are being gifted to churches; last I checked, those sorts of places give out clothes to the needy. Even if they sell stuff in a rummage sale, church sales are infinitely cheaper.

A gift shouldn’t come with strings. If SIL wanted to donate hand-me-downs, she doesn’t get to be angry when OP donates some too.

Would SIL be equally angry if the clothes got donated because they didn’t fit? I think not. OP is the mom; they’re her rules. Her children are allowed to buy what clothes they want, but it’s understandable that she doesn’t want their drawers overstuffed with name-brand stuff her kids might not like or wear. Also, OP has the right to raise her kids with those beliefs. Many people are raising their kids to fear science and believe that humans exist alongside dinosaurs.

OP can disregard capitalism if she doesn’t believe bodies are to be used as billboards.”


That’s Not How This Should Work

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“Not a jerk. I think all of the YTA people don’t have kids and don’t understand how hand-me-downs work- you cannot micromanage what happens to things after you give them to someone.

There are all kinds of reasons people don’t take certain items- maybe they don’t fit, maybe they have too many pants that size already, maybe they are not to their taste; I have never heard of anyone demanding that people use every single item it just doesn’t work that way. OP is donating them to a good cause, so someone will have free clothes to wear, and isn’t that the point of hand-me-downs?”


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This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.

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