Donating to a local charity or organization is a rewarding way to give back to those in your community. It can also be a way to bond with neighbors, friends, and family if you make it a group activity or host a donation drive. It’s standard for clothing, furniture, and other essential household items to be donated to these organizations, but many other things can also be donated. While not all of these items are accepted everywhere, many places would eagerly receive them as long as they are in good condition and clean. Charity Dispatcher is here to keep you in the loop about all your donations, volunteering, and charity-related questions. Here are six items you may not have known you could donate to a local charity or thrift store in your area.
Charity Donations Idea #1: Stuffed Animals
Some places won’t take these fluffy friends, but many will gladly invite them in. This is a fantastic item to donate; children love them and may not have access to them other than through charities. Many organizations accept stuffed animals, including thrift stores found throughout the country. When you’re donating them, make sure they are still in good condition and wash them according to their tag instructions ahead of time. There are even nationwide mail options for donating stuffed animals, including SAFE (Stuffed Animals for Emergencies). This organization collects gently used stuffed toys and gives them to police and other first responders to hand out at emergency scenes. You can mail in your donations and help put a smile on someone’s face.
Charity Donations Idea #2: Electronics
Many people think that their electronics are destined to sit in a pile in their garage forever, but donating is a viable option if they are still functional. Donating electronics can help those in need access technologies they might otherwise not be able to afford. While not every charity or donation center accepts electronics, most will. You should always call and ask ahead of time, especially for larger electronics, such as TVs. Wipe down electronics before donating, and remember to remove any personal information ahead of time.
If you have musical instruments that you would like to donate, don’t hesitate to call up your local charities. Sometimes school programs will also accept musical instruments to provide their students with instruments for band, orchestra, and music classes. When you donate your musical instrument, you give both the gift of the item itself and the gift of learning and interacting with music. One organization that accepts instruments by mail is Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. They take new and used musical instruments and provide them to school music programs across the country.
Even if your prescription is different from someone else’s, that doesn’t matter. Eyeglass frames can be in high demand, especially in programs that help lower-income families with necessities such as glasses. The lenses can always be replaced in glasses, so the condition of the frames is really what matters the most. The Lion’s Club is one organization that is known for accepting glasses. Drop-off areas for various charities that accept eyeglasses can be found everywhere; there may even be one in your local post office or grocery store. Give the gift of better sight to someone who needs it by donating eyeglasses you never use.
This may seem unexpected, but it’s a critical category for donations. Organizations like Project Care accept medical supplies in clinics in over 130 countries. They distribute these donations to centers in need. This may include clean medical wraps, crutches, wheelchairs, medical beds, and other items. Always check to make sure a charity accepts these before donating them. You never know who needs these items more than you, so consider helping others in need today.
Another fun way to give back is by donating crafting supplies that are cluttering up your home. This can be yarn, beads, feathers, popsicle sticks, paint, colored pencils, etc. Many thrift stores and charities will take these supplies. Many charities specialize in working with children; crafting supplies are in high demand and it would mean the world to them if they received these supplies. If you love seeing a happy smile on a child’s face, then donating your abundant supply of crafting material is a rewarding way to give back. Help kids in your community by looking at local charities and donation centers that take crafting supplies.
Go Above and Beyond Charity Donations
While there is nothing wrong with donating the usual bag of clothing and furniture items, it is always rewarding to find additional ways to help those in your community. Whether you are decluttering or seeking ways to help others in need, donating unexpected items is a way to widen your outreach within your community. Consider donating to these centers, and visit the Charity Dispatcher website to learn more about what you can do for those around you.