Providing Confidence, Safety, and Belonging Since 1885

The problem is simple: Clothing is expensive, and many children in underserved communities go without.

Three children smiling with backpacks against a white background
Young adults holding conversation at a table together
Group of children laughing in a field
Our Impact By-the-Numbers

Making a Difference at Scale

People Icon
90,149
People Served
in 2022
Clothing Icon
143,802
Items Distributed
in 2022
Schools Icon
81
Partner Schools
& Agencies
History Icon
138
Years of Service

Our Mission

We provide new clothing, essential items and other services so that children and youth have the resources to safely develop to their potential.

Our Vision

That all people have the dignity and self-confidence to reach their unique potential.

Two children smiling and laughing in the park
Our Why

Clothing provides a positive outlook and self-sufficiency. It is a basic need; not a luxury.

Lack of clothing not only exposes youth to potential health and safety risks, but it also makes them feel excluded, invisible, and undervalued among their peers, hindering their socialization and education. We believe that clothing is a basic human right and that every child is worthy of having clothes that make them feel confident and secure.

Our Beginnings Since 1885

They made each child two articles of clothing: one to wash and one to wear.

NGA was founded in 1885 in Philadelphia, PA by Mrs. Alanson Hartpence, her niece Mrs. Laura Safford Steward and six of her friends. They were inspired by Lady Wolverton's Queen Mary's London Needlework Guild. Following the model of the Queen Mary's London Needlework Guild, the Needlework Guild of America in its first year made 921 garments to distribute to children in hospitals, orphanages, and to individuals and families who were needy. They made each child two articles of clothing: one to wash and one to wear.

National Giving Alliance: Historical Photo, Community GatheringNational Giving Alliance: Historical Photo, Delivering Clothes to Girls

In 1896, NGA-Needlework Guild of America was legally incorporated. Once established, these forward-thinking women worked to expand NGA and its services.

As a result, NGA spread rapidly throughout the United States, and by the 1900s there were 300 branches in twenty states. Through its long history of giving, NGA has been led by many strong, caring women, including two First Ladies of the United States of America: Mrs. Theodore "Edith" Roosevelt and Mrs. Grover “Frances” Cleveland. Edith Roosevelt in joining the then Farmingdale, NY Branch, stated, "...President Roosevelt had once said he knew of no work which accomplished so much with so little individual effort." Frances Cleveland Preston was a member during the Great Depression of the 1930s, she led the Needlework Guild of America in its clothing drive for the poor.

Today, there are 15 NGA branches in seven states that are operated by dedicated volunteers. Each branch operates independently from each other and the National office.

NGA’s National office is located in Warminster, PA. It received its land through a land grant given by the United States Naval Air Force when the Naval Air Defense Center closed. Through the tireless efforts of the executive director in 2000, NGA raised the funds to build its current home. Today, NGA is managed by a paid executive director and operates with a dedicated team of volunteers, and has forged working relationships and alliances with many community organizations. NGA depends on the dedication of its volunteers to fulfill its mission.

Since its founding, NGA has provided many individuals and families with basic necessities on an annual basis. The necessities are not covered by supplemental governmental programs. In addition to its on-going work to support homeless, low and moderate income individuals, NGA National and its branches have provided items in times of national crisis, wars, natural disasters, and economic and financially crippling events that cause hardships for individuals and families.

It is often asked, "Why does NGA only give new clothing?" The answer goes back to our founders who believed, "New clothes equalize, used clothes pauperize."

Two girls throwing leaves and laughing

"The beautiful items will bring so much joy to these families!

Thank you very much for your generous donation of high quality clothing to the families of Northampton borough Elementary students."

Nicolette Teles
Curriculum Supervisor, Grants and Special Programs, Northampton Borough
Making an Impact

Why not used clothes?

Second-hand clothing programs focus solely on the clothes, reinforcing inferior self-perception and neglecting the whole human behind the need.

At NGA, we understand that new clothes bring about dignity, confidence, and tell a child: 'You are worthy.'

Our Community Branches

NGA has 15 branches in seven states

Here's what we've done in 2022:

National Giving Alliance: Fullerton, CA Branch

Fullerton, CA

Established Date Icon
1900
Year Established

Distributed over 6,065 clothing & essential items in 2022 to schools and agencies in Orange County, CA.

National Giving Alliance:Hancock Park, CA Branch

Hancock Park, CA

Established Date Icon
1895
Year Established

Distributed over 11,681 clothing & essential items to agencies in Los Angeles County, CA.

National Giving Alliance: Lakeland, FL Branch

Lakeland, FL

Established Date Icon
1935
Year Established

Distributed clothing & essential items to more than 4,000 students in the Polk County School District, Florida.

National Giving Alliance: Flint, MI Branch

Flint, MI

Established Date Icon
1918
Year Established

Distributed over 22,543 clothing & essential items to schools and agencies in Genesee County, MI.

National Giving Alliance: Salem, NJ Branch

Salem, NJ

Established Date Icon
1895
Year Established

Distributed over 1,000 clothing & essential items to schools and agencies in Salem County, NJ.

National Giving Alliance: Trenton, NJ Branch

Trenton, NJ

Established Date Icon
1896
Year Established

Distributed over 8,874 clothing & essential items to schools and agencies in Mercer County, NJ.

National Giving Alliance: Concordville, PA Branch

Concordville, PA

Established Date Icon
1894
Year Established

Distributed over 16,854 clothing & essential items to schools and agencies across three PA counties.

National Giving Alliance: Lansdale-Hatfield, PA Branch

Lansdale-Hatfield, PA

Established Date Icon
1901
Year Established

This merged chapter distributed over 14,959 clothing & essential items to  schools and agencies in three southeastern PA counties.

National Giving Alliance: New Hope-Solebury, PA Branch

New Hope-Solebury, PA

Established Date Icon
1959
Year Established

Distributed close to 3,000 clothing & essential items to four agencies in Bucks County, PA.

National Giving Alliance: Newberry-Williamsport, PA Branch

Newberry-Williamsport, PA

Established Date Icon
1914
Year Established

Distributed over 6,723 clothing & essential items to schools and agencies in Lycoming County, PA.

National Giving Alliance: Southampton, PA Branch

Southampton, PA

Established Date Icon
1938
Year Established

Distributed over 23,000 clothing & essential items to agencies across three southeastern PA counties.

National Giving Alliance: Warminster, PA Branch (National Office)

Warminster, PA

Established Date Icon
1885
Year Established

NGA National Office serves school districts and agencies in the greater Philadelphia area and provides support to NGA branches. Distributed more than 25,000 clothes and essential items in 2022.

National Giving Alliance: Winnifred-Tonkin - Oil City, PA Branch

Winnifred Tonkin - Oil City, PA

Established Date Icon
1903
Year Established

Serves schools and community organizations in Venango County, PA.

National Giving Alliance: Sherman, TX Branch

Sherman, TX

Established Date Icon
1929
Year Established

Distributed over 13,053 clothing & essential items to schools and agencies in Grayson County, TX.

National Giving Alliance: Salem, VA Branch

Salem, VA

Established Date Icon
1932
Year Established

Distributed over 9,197 clothing & essential items to schools and agencies in Salem City, VA.

Start a Branch in Your Community

You will need a group of volunteers no less than five people, who are willing to form the official branch. NGA branch members will collect, contribute and distribute items through approved 501(c)(3) organizations and school districts.

NGA Leadership

Staff & Board Officers

NGA Leadership

NGA Board Members

Authentic Transparency

It’s More Than the Clothes...

Other solutions focus on the clothes themselves, but what we’re solving for are the real issues underneath.

View Our Guidestar Report
Young female with a blue coat and backpack smiling at the camera
90,149
Individuals Served in 2022
150 Million
New Clothes Given Since 1885