My wife and I recently realized that we have a lot of stuff collecting dust. Instead of saving it in case we need it in 10 years, why not donate our stuff to people who need it now? We could clean our house and perform an act of kindness for other people.
In case you feel the same way, here is a list of where to donate clothes, furniture, toys, prom dresses, wedding gowns, DVDs, sporting equipment, musical instruments, eyeglasses, cell phones, computers, appliances, furniture, video games, cars and more:
- Phones can be donated to National Network to End Domestic Violence which gets funds for recycling them and Operation Gratitude, which uses funds to send care packages to soldiers.
- The Purple Heart Foundation will pick up your car (whether or not it is running). All proceeds support combat wounded soldiers and their families.
- The Salvation Army accepts cars to support their adult rehabilitation centers.
- Wheels for Wishes will pickup your car, and all proceeds benefit the Make a Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to children facing life threatening medical conditions. You can also donate trucks, motorcycles, boats, and RVs.
- Gift cards can be donated to people in need via Gift Card Giver.
- Donated used inkjet and toner cartridges to Operation Gratitude to send care packages to soldiers.
- National Cristina Foundation has an online database of nonprofits that need computer hardware with a list of what each nonprofit needs. Search by zip code to find nonprofits in your area.
- Donate interview appropriate clothes for women to Dress for Success for disadvantaged women entering the workforce. Dress for Success provides an interview suit. Once a woman is employed the organization provides a week’s worth of clothes. Here are drop off locations.
- Habitat for Humanity has ReStores that resell household items. They will come to your house and pickup home goods, furniture, cabinets, electronics, appliances and building materials. Search their 852 US and Canada locations for one near you. Proceeds are used to build and repair affordable housing for people who need it. .
- New or gently used items can be donated to Goodwill retail stores. There are more than 2,650 Goodwill donation locations. Donations support jobs and job training.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters will pick up your donations of clothing, household items, electronics and other items. They use all proceeds to support mentoring of children. Pickups are currently offered in NJ, DE, PA (Philadelphia, Lehigh Valley, Bucks County, Delaware County, Montgomery County).
- The Salvation Army also accepts these items and will pick them up from your house (pickup is only in certain geographies). Donations to the Salvation Army support their adult rehabilitation centers.
- The Military Order of the Purple Heart will pickup clothes, small appliances, electronics, toys and much more. Here’s a list of what they will pick up. They only operate in NJ, DE, PA, MD, CT, VA and NY.
- Get ready for the new, by getting rid of the old . . . pack up clothes, household items, games or other items you no longer need, and Give Back Box will provide a prepaid shipping label so you can have the items shipped to Goodwill at no charge. This can be done from any state in the US. (Goodwill is a nonprofit that provides job training and jobs.)
- Nike has many drop off locations where your old sneakers can be collected to be turned into new surfaces that become places to play.
- Donate prom and special occasion dresses to girls in need through Donatemydress.org a service of Hearst Publishing. Here are drop off locations in the US and Canada.
- Brides Across America accepts wedding gown donations for military brides in need. Gowns can’t be older than 4 years.
- Brides Against Breast Cancer collects and resells wedding dresses to raise money for Breast Cancer. Brides Against Cancer accepts dresses that are mailed to them. They also request $100 to cover gown prep and warehousing.
- Angel Wings Memory Gowns re-purposes donated wedding and formal dresses into complimentary burial gowns for babies and toddlers.
- Stuffed Animals for Emergencies has a list of local chapters that accept new or like new stuffed animals to be given to kids to help them feel a little more safe during emergency situations such as fires, illness, accidents, neglect, abuse, homelessness and even weather emergencies. You can scroll through their list of chapters by state to see where you can drop off or mail your stuffed animals.
- You can donate to Books for America.. They build and improve reading libraries in schools, shelters and many other organizations. You can drop off books at their Washington, DC office or ship books to them.
- OneSight collects gently used prescription eyewear and non-prescription sunglasses to help patients in their global clinics. You can donate glasses at LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Target Optical, ILORI, Optical Shop of Aspen.
- You can also donate through Lions Clubs eyeglasses program. Lions club has 18 drop off locations. They distribute the glasses to people in need in developing countries.
- The Get-Well Gamers Foundation distributes your games and game systems to hospitals. You mail your games and systems to their headquarters.
- You can send your DVDs to Kidflicks and they use them to stock movie libraries for hospitals.
- You can send your DVDs and portable DVD players to DVDs4Vets and they distribute to VA facilities.
- The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation accepts gently used band and orchestral instruments that it donates to under- funded music programs school across the country. Here’s the specific page for donating an instrument. You send them your gently used instruments.
- The Capitol Region Education Council in Hartford, CT is collecting gently used cellos, violins, and music stands so that students in their public magnet schools can have music classes. Call or email them to donate your instruments (the contact is listed towards the bottom of the page under “how to donate an instrument.”)
- The Dreaming Zebra distributes instruments and art supplies to kids in underserved areas. You mail your instruments and supplies to their warehouse.
- The National Diaper Bank Network has a directory of local diaper banks that accept unused diapers for families in need. If you click the “find a diaper bank” link you can search for a local diaper bank for donating diapers.
- Fitness 4 Charity accepts used exercise equipment that they distribute to foster homes, hospitals, police stations and other nonprofits. They work nationwide. To donate you fill out a form with details about your equipment and the nonprofit then contacts you about logistics.
- One World Running provides running shoes to people in need in the US and around the world. Their drop off locations accept new and almost new shoes.
- St. Jude’s Ranch for Children will turn the fronts of the cards into new cards, which are then sold to customers. This program is for abused and at risk children to learn entrepreneurship skills.
- The The Freecycle Network allows you to post items that you would like to give away. There’s no tax deduction, but it avoids landfills and can be a huge help to someone. Read Zoe’s comment in the comments below for examples of how her wedding dress and doll collection donated through Freecycle made a difference. They have over 5,000 local Freecycle groups. If you find someone through Freecycle to take your items, they will usually pick them up at your house.
- If you can’t donate these devices you can recycle them through Verizon.
- Please post a comment, if there are places I should add to this list.
Donate cell phones
Donate cars, motorcycles, trucks, boats, RVs
Donate unused gift cards (or portions of them)
Donate used inkjet and toner cartridges
Donate computers and electronic hardware
Donate interview appropriate clothes and accessories for women
Donate home goods, furniture, cabinets, electronics, appliances and building materials
Donate clothing, appliances, toys, electronics and furniture
Donate prom and special occasion dresses
Donate wedding dresses
Donate stuffed animals
Donate your new and used video games and game systems
Donate DVDs and portable DVD players
Donate musical instruments and art supplies
Donate your extra diapers
Donate fitness equipment
Donate used or new greeting cards
Give anything away free
Recycle cell phones, tablets, netbooks
and mobile hotspot devices
You might also be interested in this post with 80 Random Acts of Kindness that will make you an everyday hero.