Because you’re such a savvy saver, you probably have extra food in your pantry, a stack of expired coupons or a pile of clothes that your children no longer wear. Instead of throwing these items out or letting them pile up, you can give them away to people in need of a helping hand. Use this guide to decide where to give. — Alyssa Goldman
Clothes and Shoes A nice outfit can give a first-grader that extra bit of confidence on the first day of school or do the same for a mom on a job interview.
Dress for success collects professional attire for disadvantaged women in hopes that it will help them land a job. This nonprofit also gives women the tools to succeed including access to the career advancement program and ongoing support to their clients. Career Gear offers men’s suits appropriate for interviews.
You know that Big Brothers Big Sisters is a mentoring program that helps young people make good decisions, but were you aware that it also owns thrift stores? The profits made from its sales go toward funding its services. See if you can use the organization’s donation pickup service to give away clothes, household goods, office supplies, exercise equipment, furniture and kitchenware.
According to the organization, Loved Twice, more than 900,000 babies will be born into poverty. This charity collects gently used baby wear sizes 0-12 months.
Furniture and Appliances
According to the National Furniture Bank Association, hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. lack a proper place to sleep or lack basic essentials. You can help turn a family’s house into a home. Check out the National Furniture Bank Association to find an organization that accepts home furnishings.
If you’re in the process of updating your kitchen, why not donate your old appliances to charity? The Appliances Donation Center at geappliances.com provides a list of organizations that accept used appliances.
Computers and Games Technology opens a new world of educational and professional opportunities; however, many people in the U.S. don’t have access to computers and other electronics.
The National Cristina Foundation accepts desktops, notebooks, printers, peripherals and software to give organizations who help persons with disabilities, less fortunate students and the economically disadvantaged the chance to access technology and become more independent.
World Computer Exchange gives persons in developing countries access to computers, the Internet and other technologies. The organization’s goal is to help provide children with a better education resulting in the reduction of poverty and improvement in the country’s economy.
Do you have little-used games lying around your house? Donate them to a soldier or a child in the hospital at Gamers Outreach.
In 2009, the Department of Housing and Urban Development estimated that about 2 million people in the U.S. were homeless at some point (meaning they went to a shelter for at least one night or stayed in a place not meant for human habitation). Check out the sites below to find out what you can do to help alleviate homelessness.
Homeless shelters typically take nonperishable food, clothing and toiletries. Go to www.homelessshelterdirectory.org to find a homeless shelter or a soup kitchen near you.
Find the nearest food banks, soup kitchens and non-profit organizations committed to fighting hunger at foodpantries.org.
Find a local women’s shelter at womenshelters.org. Once you decide which shelter you would like to donate to, call and ask what items it needs. Most women’s shelters need canned and non-perishable foods, diapers, toiletries and feminine hygiene products.
Book Kids don’t just grow out of clothes; they also grow out of their books. Many children—here and abroad—don’t have exposure to the great world of literature.
Help promote literacy in developing countries by donating your kids’ old favorites to the International Book Project.
Support literacy programs abroad and at home by donating your books to Better World Books.
School Supplies Help children succeed academically by giving them the tools they need.
iLoveSchools.com gives you an inside look at what America’s schools and teachers need in their classrooms. And, you can determine where your school supplies go via donor offer!
Cars If you have a vehicle that you can’t sell, why not give it to charity? Not only will you support a good cause, but you can also benefit from a tax deduction.
Donate Car USA handles the Motor Vehicle Department forms! And you can choose which of their charity clients you want the 50 percent of net profit made off your car to go to.
One-Stop Shop for all Donations
When you donate your clothing, appliances, electronics, furniture and/or a vehicle to Goodwill you are helping fund community-based programs for people with disabilities, a lack of education or job experience or those who face employment challenges.
The sale of your donations, including appliances, clothing, automobiles, household goods, furniture, etc. help fund the Salvation Army’s 119 U.S. based adult rehabilitation centers.