Note: This article on where to donate stuff is written by contributing writer, Tammy Strobel.
Francine Jay, author of The Joy of Less and Lightly, writes about how it’s easier to donate one’s stuff when it goes to a good cause. This Ultimate Guide was inspired by her. “Something that’s been sitting in your house, unused and unloved, may bring a great deal of joy to, or fill the genuine need of, someone else. Make their day, and give yourself a pat on the back. Knowing that you’re doing good can make it much easier to part with your stuff,” says Jay.
Jay’s words resonate with me. Donating stuff I don’t need makes me feel good. For example, donating my books to the library made me happy because librarians put them to good use. Also, I’ve donated clothing, household items, sporting equipment, appliances, and other stuff to organizations like Goodwill and local charities.
Not sure where to donate your stuff? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. I created a BIG list of places to donate your stuff.
Where To Donate Your Stuff: The Ultimate Guide
The following list is broken up into categories like general goods, clothing, electronics, crafts, books, etc. Also, you’ll find a summary of what the organizations do and what they need. I hope this list will motivate you to donate your stuff to a good cause, and serve as a resource for folks who are interested in donating stuff but may not know where to start.
Where To Donate Your Stuff: General Goods
Goodwill. What they do: “Goodwill provides free career counseling, skills training, and résumé prep services that help unlock opportunities for job seekers. Every day, more than 350 people find a job with Goodwill’s help.” What they need: Clothing, electronics, appliances, furniture, household goods, sporting equipment, books, and more.
Salvation Army. What they do: “The Salvation Army meets human need wherever, whenever, and however we can.” What they need: Clothing, electronics, appliances, furniture, household goods, sporting equipment, books, and more.
Pickup Please. What they do: The Vietnam Veterans of America runs a donation program called Pickup Please. The program benefits veterans and other charities. What they need: Clothing, household items, toys, electronics, books, equipment, small furnishings, bikes, musical instruments, and more.
Friends of Pine Ridge Reservation. What they do: “We focus on specific needs of the many schools and social service organizations such as shelters, children’s organizations, and clinics physically located on the reservation.” What they need: Canned foods for their food drive for Yurok elders.
Forgotten Soldiers Outreach. What they do: “Supporting America’s deployed military service members, to ensure they are not forgotten.” What they need: Care packages that include snacks, treats, and letters.
Habitat For Humanity Restore: What they do: Habitat ReStores are independently owned reuse stores operated by local Habitat for Humanity organizations. ReStores accept donations and sell a constantly changing inventory of diverse, high-quality merchandise to the public at a fraction of the retail price, while diverting reusable household items and building materials from area landfills. What they need: new and gently used appliances, furniture, building materials, household goods and more from individuals and companies. Each local ReStore is unique, and many locations also accept items outside these categories.
Where To Donate Clothing, Shoes & Accessories
This is an interesting category because we often hold on to long when we paid too much for something that we never wear anymore. Or, we thing we can recoup some of our investment by selling our things. And then decision fatigue sets in and we don’t do anything. As Courtney Carver says, “You have already paid enough.” Let go in the easiest way so you can enjoy the benefits of living and dressing with less.
Dress for Success. What they do: “Dress for Success is a global not-for-profit organization that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.” What they need: Gift cards and volunteers for donation drives.
Soles4Souls. What they do: “Soles4Souls turns shoes and clothing into educational and economic opportunities.” What they need: gently worn shoes and clothing
Got Sneakers: What they do: “At GotSneakers, we’re making it socially and financially rewarding to contribute to a circular economy with our FREE sneaker recycling programs for individual sellers and organizations of all types and sizes. When you join our sneaker recycling community, you will be making a global impact AND you will earn money for every pair of sneakers you contribute.” What they need: Sneakers.
Care Wear. What they do: “A nationwide group of volunteers who knit, crochet, and/or sew, providing handmade items directly to hospitals & social service agencies.” What they need: Blanket, teddy bears, toys for children, face masks, crochet bags/sacks, and more.
Donate Wedding And Prom Dresses
These dresses may be sentimental. When you are ready to let go, take a picture of yourself in the dress or find pictures from the day you wore the dress. Those will inspire the memories and feelings more than a dress in the back of your closet or in a box in the attic.
Brides Against Breast Cancer. What they do: “Brides Against Breast Cancer (“BABC”) was first founded in 1997. Since 2017 BABC has been located in Atlanta. BABC focus is on breast cancer awareness. BABC generates over half its funding from reselling donated wedding dresses.” What they need: Single dress donations.
The Glass Slipper Project. What they do: “The Glass Slipper Project is a non-profit organization that collects new and almost-new formal dresses and accessories and provides them, free of charge, to high school juniors and seniors who are unable to purchase their own Prom attire.” What they need: Black eye liner, clear lip gloss (NEW AND UNOPENED), sparkly jewelry (earrings, necklace, bracelets), small & dressy purses, dressy shoes and sandals.
Little Angel Gowns. What they do: Little Angel Gowns is a 501(c)3 charitable organization that transforms donated wedding dresses into beautiful infant burial attire. Their beautiful handmade garments are provided as a gift to the grieving family so they can experience a measure of relief and comfort in knowing their loss has been acknowledged in a most personal way. What they need: White and off white wedding dresses, we accept satin or satin like pale pink, pale blue, lavender, navy blue, and black bridesmaid dresses. Read through their FAQs section for tips on sending dresses.
Baby And Children’s Items
Stuffed Animals for Emergencies. What they do: “Helping children feel SAFE when they need it most!” What they need: Stuffed animals, books, blankets, children’s clothes, baby-related items, and new coloring books and crayons.
Newborns in Need. What they do: “Newborns in Need is focused on providing basic, essential items for the newborn. NIN chapters work with local service partners that focus on providing for new family units who have little resources.” What they need: Clothing, diapers, hygiene items, blankets and other basic items for the newborn baby for their Immediate Need Kits.
Project Smile. What they do: “Empower low income men to attain the jobs they need to improve their lives and become financially independent.” What they need: new stuffed animals, unused coloring books, reading books, and small toys.
What To Donate To Support Pets And Animals
Whether you’ve recently adopted a pet, lost a furry friend or simply want to support animals, here are a few ways to donate your pet items and support these organizations.
The Humane Society. What they do: The Humane Society is dedicated to the elimination of pain, fear, and suffering in all animals. Our goal is to keep pets and people together, bring them together, and help move each animal to their most appropriate outcome as quickly as possible. What they need: gently used bath towels, fleece blankets, pet toys & supplies, and pet food in its original packaging. Check your local Humane Society’s wishlist.
Best Friends. What they do: Best Friends, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, operates the nation’s largest sanctuary for homeless animals and provides adoption, spay/neuter, and educational programs. What they need: New or gently used dog and cat items (toys, bedding, blankets, etc.). Food and treats for cats and dogs.
Where To Donate Your Electronics
From upgrading to something new to choosing to spend less time on our digital devices, there always seems to extra electronics floating around. These organizations will put them to good use.
World Computer Exchange. What they do: “Help us bridge the digital divide by donating your used computer.” What they need: Laptop computers, tablets and eReaders with chargers, smart phones with chargers, digital projectors, webcams, digital cameras, and camcorders, digital microscopes for school computer labs, RAM for laptops and desktops, hard drives for laptops or desktops, and USB thumb drives and USB hub/multi ports
Digitunity. What they do: “Digitunity partners with a variety of organizations across the country to provide new and refurbished computers to their programs and the people they serve. Through individual and corporate donations of technology, we work every day to ensure everyone can thrive in our digital society.” What they need: computers.
Cell Phones For Soldiers. What they do: “Providing cost-free communication services and emergency funding to active-duty military members and veterans.” What they need: Cell phones, iPads, tablets, mp3 players, chargers, and original packaging.
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. What they do: Work to eliminate domestic violence and empower survivors. What they need: cell phones, laptops, mp3 Players, digital cameras, video game systems
Computer Recycling Center. What they do: “Promotes the highest and best re-use of laptops and all-in-one computers and recycles unusable items through State Permitted Recyclers to keep them out of landfills.” What they need: laptops/notebooks and ALL-IN-ONE computers
Office And School Supplies
Develop Africa. What they do: “Founded to facilitate meaningful and sustainable development in Africa.” What they need: School supplies, scholarships, solar lights, mosquito nets, computer/vocational training, and more.
Where To Donate Your Books
Books rarely feel like clutter but once you’ve read them, send them into the world and make room for more reading. There are so many places that will accept used books. Plus, donating books is a joyful way to make connections in your local community.
Better World Books. What they do: “Supports global literacy programs by selling books online.” What they need: Books.
Prison Book Program. What they do: Supports “people in prison by sending them free books and print resources.” What they need: Books.
Books for Africa. What they do: Books For Africa collects, ships books, and library enhancement materials to every country in Africa. They collaborate with donors, publishers, and African partners. What they need: Books and financial donations.
Book Fairies. What they do: Book Fairies distributes books to “under-resourced communities on Long Island and New York City.” What they need: Books.
BookCrossing. What they do: BookCrossing “connects people through books.” The organization allows you to easily share books with new readers. All you have to do is label, share, and follow. BookCrossing is free to join, too. What they need: Books.
Art And Crafts
You may have extra supplies or perhaps you’ve decided to move on to a different hobby and don’t know what to do with all of that yarn or paint. Give yourself permission to let go of the stuff you aren’t using anymore. You’ll create more room for your next creative project and give these organization supplies they need.
Binky Patrol. What they do: “We make blankets and give them away to children who are in need of comfort.” What they need: yarn and fabric
Mother Bear Project. What they do: “Dedicated to providing comfort and hope to children, primarily those affected by HIV/AIDS in emerging nations, by giving them a gift of love in the form of hand-knit and crocheted bears.” What they need: US Postage Stamps, packing tape, yarn, knitting needles and more.
Children’s Healing Art Project. What they do: “Bringing the healing power of art to children and families facing medical challenges. What they need: A variety of arts supplies; see website for wish list.
made4aid. What they do: “The idea of made4aid grew from the thought that there might be other creative people who would welcome the opportunity to donate their work to raise money for charity, and made4aid was launched in June 2009, as a non-profit organisation, run by volunteers.” What they need: handmade items including a range of textiles, paper arts and crafts, clothing, quilts or throws, and more.
Don’t Forget The Sports Equipment You Never Use
Sports Gift. What they do: “Providing sports to impoverished and disadvantaged children throughout the world.” What they need: baseballs, basketballs, coaching supplies, footballs, playground equipment, and more.
Where To Donate Cars And Bicycles
Bicycles for Humanity. What they do: “Aims to empower the people of Africa and the rest of the developing World by helping them solve the basic problem of mobility.” What they need: bicycles.
Habitat for Humanity Cars. What they do: “Since launching the national vehicle donation program, Cars for Homes, in 2005, Habitat has accepted over 120,000 vehicles for reselling or recycling, raising funds for Habitat to partner with local families to build stability and security that a safe affordable home allows.” What they need: cars, trucks, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, boats, snowmobiles, farm equipment and construction equipment.
Bikes for the World. What they do: supplying donated bicycles to families overseas. What they need: bikes.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America Vehicle Donation Program. What they do: “Create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. We have a vision that all youth reach their potential.” What they need: cars, trucks, motorcycles, trailers, boats, and more.
National Kidney Foundation Kidney Cars. What they do: “Turn your ride into a vehicle for change. Donate your vehicle today to help a kidney patient.” What they need: Cars, trucks, vans, boats, motorcycles, motor cross bikes, power sports equipment including ATVs, off-road motorcycles, construction equipment, and more.
Purple Heart. What they do: “Provide opportunities for combat-wounded veterans to cope with their stress and trauma by making a donation to the PTSD Resource fund.” What they need: car, boat, motorcycle and other vehicles.
Yep, You Can Donate Your Eye Glasses
Lions in Sight: What they do: “By giving sight to someone who is visually impaired you can help them gain employment, complete their schooling, care for themselves, and care for others.” What they need: Eyeglasses, sunglasses, broken eyeglass parts, clip-on sunglasses with metal parts, hearing aids, and cell phones.
Where To Donate Your Other Stuff
Project C.U.R.E. What they do: “Delivers life-saving medical equipment and supplies to hospitals and clinics throughout the under-resourced world.” What they need: Home healthcare beds, hoyer lifts, wheelchairs, bedside commodes, bedside tables, walkers (including rollators), crutches, and canes
St. Jude’s Ranch. What they do: “Transforming the lives of abused and at-risk children, young adults and families by empowering them to create new choices and new hope in a caring community.” What they need: clothing, shoes, jewelry, hats, gloves, mittens, books, games, toys and more.
Project Beauty Share: What they do: they provide personal hygiene, cosmetics and beauty products to non-profit organizations who serve women and families overcoming abuse, addiction, homelessness and poverty to help restore hope and dignity in their lives. What they need: face products, body products, oral hygiene, feminine hygiene, hair products, hair styling tools, make-up. They do accept used products for some items.
Donation Support To Help You Let Go Of Your Stuff
Charity Navigator helps people “support the causes they care about by connecting them to the best charities that align with their passions and values.” If you’d like to do more research into charities, this is a great resource.
Donation Town will connect you to a charity that will pick up your donations for free.
National Association of Senior & Specialty Move Managers® (NASMM). Recognizing and managing the stress of relocating older adults, individuals and families is the hallmark of the National Association of Senior & Specialty Move Managers® (NASMM). Additionally, NASMM members will help you downsize, organize and simplify your current home through their NASMM@Home program.
Make thoughtful donations a part of your commitment to break the cycle of buying things, donating them and replacing them with new things. If you want to learn about what happens to your stuff after you donate it, read Adam Minter’s book – Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale.
We want this resource, Where to Donate Your Stuff: The Ultimate Guide to grow and continue to serve you as you donate your things. If there are other organizations we should consider adding, please let us know!