Whether you've just had a yard sale, you just put your house up for sale, or you just want to declutter your home, you can get rid of unwanted stuff and build your community at the same time.
I recently cleaned out several rooms and found more stuff than I knew what to do with. There are a few places in town that I know will usually take donations, but I wanted to challenge myself to offer these items to some different charities in the area so that I could build up my local community.
Here’s a list of charities I came up with. Your area may differ, but I hope you get some new ideas for your community.
Clothing: There are many places in our community who are looking for clothing donations. Domestic violence shelters are a great place to consider for women’s clothing. Sometimes women seeking shelter will have children with them, so children’s clothing might also be welcome. Inpatient centers like addiction recovery or human trafficking help centers would also be a great place to consider, as would a local homeless shelter. Youth clothing might be appreciated by a residential facility for foster children or even clothing closets for families caring for children in the foster care system. Finally, some churches or other non-profit organizations may have a clothing closet for people in need.
Furniture & Housewares: Some charities will schedule a pick-up for furniture. Our local Habitat for Humanity Restore will come get used appliances and larger furniture items that can be hard to transport. Sometimes, however, they are very busy or unable to schedule a time. I have found that local youth groups at churches usually appreciate a spare couch and will come pick it up. If it’s a smaller item like a shelf or other home furniture, places that provide transitional housing like human trafficking help centers or addiction recovery centers might appreciate receiving furniture for their participants who will be living on their own in the near future. Also, many communities have college-bound students who do not have sufficient access to housewares for their dorm or independent living.
Bath & Body: Many charitable organizations that also have a residential unit are often excited to receive soaps, lotions, shampoos, and other personal hygiene items. Often residential homes for foster children, in-patient psychiatric units, homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, and addiction recovery centers are looking for new hygiene items. This is a great way to re-purpose hotel-sized trial items that you no longer want. In my experience, many places have strict policies regarding these items for safety and other reasons, so it is imperative to discuss your donation with a facility representative directly.
Whenever I make a donation, I usually call the organization and ask to speak with someone regarding my donation. I make sure to discuss the entire donation I plan on bringing and ask specific questions about the nature and condition of the items. I have found these small extra steps make the donation successful and easy.
If you have found these ideas helpful, please share this article with a friend! That way, we can make our communities stronger.