DEAR HARRIETTE: My daughter is growing so fast that she can't fit any of her clothes from last year. As I was sorting through them to donate, I found some really special clothing items that I thought would fit one of her friends perfectly. When I asked the girl's mother if she would like to have them, she seemed visibly offended. I apologized for being presumptuous. I was trying to be generous. That's the way I grew up. What should I have done? -- Generosity in Question, Dallas
DEAR GENEROSITY IN QUESTION: Not everybody likes to receive hand-me-downs at all or from people outside of their family. One way to figure that out before coming out and presenting a bag of clothes to someone is to make a very soft ask. For example, you could say, "Our daughters seem to have similar taste. I just found a few of my daughter's clothes that she has outgrown. My daughter would like to give them to your daughter. Would that be OK with you?" If the answer is no, it's easier to walk away.
I will add, though, that for the most part, giving clothes to charities or churches is easier than sharing them with friends. A lot of people get uncomfortable with the idea of their children sharing each other's clothes.