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Collected Charity Clothing and Can’t Allocate

If one collected clothing for a person that was in need of clothing, but that person has seemed to leave town, and the collector hasn’t been able to contact the ani in a long time, can the clothing be given to another charity?


In principle the clothing should be given back to the people who donated it.

If this is not practical, or involves a financial loss that makes it not worthwhile, the clothing should be donated to another needy person; a case should be found that is as similar as possible to the original case.

Best wishes.


See Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh De’ah 253, citing a dispute among rishonim and ruling that the money should be given back to donors; however, where this is not practical the Rosh (32:6) rules that the donations should be used for as close a purpose as possible to the original. See also Shut Maharsham 3:52. For more details see here.

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