Nonprofits dedicated to helping the disadvantaged work 365 days a year, not just in December. With school wrapping up, some essentials not looking so hot anymore and quite possibly the remnants of spring cleaning still in the basement or car perhaps this is the time to offer alternatives to the local landfill. Get philanthropic and give your abandoned goods a new lease on life by donating them to a worthy cause.
Pet toys, blankets, thick towels, dog or cat beds, crates and unopened pet food can go to your local SPCA. Twice a year I sort through my dog and cat’s toys and bring the extras along with some pet food and treats I’ve picked up at a locally owned shop and donate them to a shelter. It is the least I can do for people who are caring for abandoned or neglected pets.
Discs for Dogs.org in Western New York will sell used CDs and DVDs (even those in poor condition) for $1 each and donate 100% of that money to their local SPCA. They will even reimburse you for your shipping costs.
Goodwill Industries accepts clothing, children’s toys, furniture, computers and appliances in good/working condition. Many Goodwill agencies accept vehicle donations as part of Wheels-to-Work programs that provide reliable transportation to help people stay on the job. Other Goodwills use the proceeds from the sale of your vehicle to fund important job training and employment programs for people with disabilities and other disadvantaging conditions.
Habitat for Humanity’s car donation program accepts cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles and RV’s and sells them through automobile auctions, recyclers or salvage yards to raise funds that help build simple, decent homes. Funds generated from vehicle sales benefit Habitat affiliates and local families.
Check with your local community center when thinking about what do to with an old bike or sporting goods.
Domestic violence shelters need unopened toiletries from toothbrushes to deodorant and contact solution. Likely you will not be allowed to drop off a donation at the actual shelter. For information on contacting a shelter or an organization visit CharityGuide.org.
Charity Navigator has an excellent online guide to donating noncash items and the tax benefits of giving.
The Freecycle Network is made up of 4,767 groups with 6,883,000 members across the globe. It is a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer.