I cleaned out my closet this weekend and have a few bags of clothing in good condition. My first reaction was to donate to the Red Cross for hurricane victims, but are there any agencies or shelters in NYC that will give clothing directly to people in need?

Now is a good time to remember that while the poor and displaced of the Gulf Coast need our help and sympathy - and will for quite some time - poverty is not something that only occurs after a natural disaster. We still encourage you to donate to hurricane relief effort, but many of New York's own citizens have to struggle just to keep up with basic needs every day. Your donation of clothing is one good way to help.

Goodwill and the Salvation Army are two places to start. Goodwill has nine locations in four boroughs, so you should be able to find one near you.

The Department of Sanitation runs a website, NYCWasteLess, that includes this list of places that accept donations of clothing. (It also includes lists of places that accept general donations of books, computers, furniture and other goods.)

Two great organizations on the city's list are Dress for Success and Career Gear which accept donations of business attire for women and men, respectively. The organizations provide the proper clothing for women and men to go on interviews and start new careers. They also offer job counseling and other services.

There are many more places where you can donate. NYU students run NYU Clothes Line which accepts donations of clothes for a program to help the needy. Your local church or synagogue might run a shelter or collect clothing. With any organization, be sure to call to check drop-off locations and times. Any tips from Gothamist readers?