By now I’m sure parents have had ample opportunity to examine their children’s wardrobes as they head back to school.

Are shoes too tight, pants too small, sleeves a tad too short? When it’s time to invest in new clothes and footwear, find out the greenest way to purge old clothes and an inexpensive way to purchase new clothes.

A local, nonprofit group dedicated to supporting parents has a great, eco-friendly way to share those gently-used or like-new clothes with other children. You can consign or donate. Here’s how.

From our friends at Parenthesis of Oak Park:

For parents struggling to squeeze this year’s school clothes into the kids’ overstuffed closets, an Oak Park organization has a solution: Declutter, do good and make a profit all at the same time.

Parenthesis Family Center, which has been helping local families of all walks of life for fifteen years, is now accepting fall children’s clothing, maternity wear and gear for its fall consignment sale.

Fall is a great time to wipe the slate clean and start with roomy, organized closets and drawers. Those who donate or consign to Parenthesis are helping the group help families, with programming that ranges from support groups and classes to a morning drop-in daycare program that is a boon to stay-at-home parents.

Participating in the consignment sale is also a great way to keep used clothing out of landfills and provide the community with a green back-to-school shopping option.

For the first time in the fifteen-year history of the sale, Parenthesis is offering the option of no-fuss consigning. This means the group can price clothing for consignors – making participation as easy as putting the clothes in a bag and dropping them off.

Because our volunteers are very familiar with how much different clothing items typically sell for, we think that this option will not only save participants time, but may even result in larger checks.

For those who would rather price their own items, Parenthesis provides pre-printed price tags that can be filled out at home.

Either way, consignors receive checks after the sale for 50 percent of their items’ proceeds. The other half of the sale revenue supports Parenthesis as a major part of the nonprofit’s annual budget.

The easiest option of all is simply donating used clothing. A quick drop-off results in a tax deduction for the donor and allows Parenthesis to put 100 percent of the proceeds toward helping West Suburban families.


Here are the details for the Parenthesis Fall Children’s Consignment Sale:

What: Like new fall and winter children’s clothing, sizes newborn to 16, plus maternity wear, as well as equipment items such as swings, bouncy seats, and baby carriers. Due to safety regulations, we are unable to accept cribs and car seats.

How: Pick up a pricing kit or request one by email, if you wish to price your own items. Sort through clothing to make sure it is clean, free of stains or tears, and in-season. Make sure gear is in working order. Drop off at Parenthesis or call Sue at 708-848-2227 to arrange pick-up.

When: Instruction and pricing kits are available for pickup now, or can be emailed and printed at home. Clothing can be dropped off during the following sessions:

Wednesday, Sept. 21, 9 a.m. to noon OR 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Thursday Sept. 22, 9 a.m. to noon OR 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Friday Sept. 23, 9 a.m. to noon

Where: Instructions can be picked up and items dropped off at:

 Parenthesis Family Center

Euclid Ave. United Methodist Church

405 S. Euclid Ave.

Oak Park

Visit to read about the great work this organization is doing.  

CONTACT: For pricing kits and questions, call Sue at 708-848-2227 or email

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