How To Donate Your Stuff For Maximum Impact

May 23, 2018

Sure, you can collect all your unwanted belongings in a few boxes and drive it over to the local non- profit thrift store, but you probably already know that you are not doing your community much good with that lazy approach to donation. In truth, Goodwill and similar charities are not exactly devoted to helping the disadvantaged; Goodwill’s CEOs earn a comfortable salary in the high six figures, while the employees it claims to support barely bring in minimum wage.

If you are interested in making a positive impact with your old stuff; more of an impact than feeding the overflowing bank account of an old, white guy, then here are a few better options for your donations:

Give Books To The Library

Though few libraries will use your donated books on their shelves, most libraries have attached charity groups, often called Friends of the Library. These groups will gladly accept donated books, magazines and similar reading materials, which they will eventually sell in fundraisers to benefit the library. Unfortunately, the current administration is doing little to help libraries, which have struggled for years now to obtain sufficient funding from the state. If you don’t want to see your local library close, you should donate your unwanted books to their cause.

Give Kid Stuff To Children’s Hospitals

There is nothing more terrifying than seeing a child in the hospital, but thousands of families are forced to see their little ones live and grow in children’s wards due to debilitating diseases. You can make life a little easier for unwell children and their parents by donating any and all child-related belongings to your local children’s hospital. Most hospitals prefer new or untouched belongings, because clothes and toys can carry pathogens that imperil young lives. However, you can also give gently used items to hospitals’ affiliated boutiques, whose profits directly impact patients and their families.

Give Clothing And Bedding To The Homeless

America’s homeless lack even the basic elements of shelter: clothing and bedding. Homeless shelters strive to provide these necessities to people undergoing crisis, but they rarely have enough to fill their needs. Sheets, blankets, comforters, and even mattresses give the homeless a safe and comfortable place to sleep, and clothing keeps them warm and protected during the day. Most often, homeless shelters ask for clean underwear and socks, but they will also gladly accept work clothes, jackets, jeans, and other attire.

Give Automobiles to Community Charities

Cars, boats, and other land- and water-based automobiles are expensive investments and they can be difficult to sell if they are old or in disrepair. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to donate them, either; few popular charitable groups are equipped to take in such large, valuable and complicated donations. Fortunately, there are a few groups dedicated to improving community services that specialize in car and boat donations. For example, is an excellent destination for watercraft donation that provides afterschool resources for at-risk kids.

Give Tech And Supplies To Education Institutions

As teachers around the country march for better pay and funding, sometimes successfully as in Arizona and West Virginia, and sometimes less successfully, more notice is being paid to the tools and supplies that most schools lack. No longer is an educational institution well-equipped with a few textbooks and a chalkboard; today’s kids need tech if they should have any hope of preparing for the real world. Fortunately, you can donate your old tech to schools in need. Most schools are especially desperate for computers and printers, but any electronics can help. For that matter, you can also give unwanted office supplies, including arts and crafts supplies like paper, pencils, markers, rulers, etc.

Give Anything To Women’s Shelters

More than one third of women suffer sexual abuse in their lifetimes. Nearly three American women are killed every day due to domestic violence. Though women can own property, hold employment and vote, most are still under attack and in desperate need of protection. Undoubtedly, there are women’s shelters in your area, but they are under-equipped to help all the women who seek aid.

The truth is that women’s shelters need anything you can give: hygienic supplies like soap and body wash, shampoo, and conditioner; feminine care products like tampons and pantyliners; kids’ products, from formula and diapers to toys and clothes; cosmetics and beauty products; clothing and accessories, especially bras and purses; entertainment of any kind, from books and magazines to movies to tickets to events; and more. By donating to your closest women’s shelter, you are giving women peace of mind and maybe even helping a woman close to you find safety and security.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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