A: Jeans that haven't fit since the tenth grade, Lycra minis, gifts from aunts unaware that adults don't wear sweaters with snowmen on them -- chances are your closet contains quite a few items of clothing that you won't be needing this season, or ever. But as you rearrange your wardrobe in anticipation of winter, remember that there are plenty of needy New Yorkers who wouldn't be at all ashamed to wear a Ralph Lauren apron dress (even if it does scream 1994). And if you're the charity-begins-at-home type, keep in mind that all donations of clothing are tax-deductible.
Housing Works' three Thrift Shops (143 West 17th Street; 202 East 77th Street; 306 Columbus Avenue, near 75th Street) benefit people with aids and HIV. You can drop clothes off at the shops, but the hours vary, so call 212-366-0820 or log on to www.housingworks.org.
La Candelaria (call 212-427-1337 for information) provides services for the homeless and victims of domestic abuse; it accepts women's and children's clothing -- preferably seasonal. It will arrange a pickup anywhere in Manhattan on Fridays between 9 and 5 p.m.
Covenant House (460 West 41st Street; 212-613-0300, www.covenanthouseny.org) has helped homeless children and teens since the seventies. It accepts clothing at the 41st Street location 24 hours a day, seven days a week.