Donating Used Items to Charity

There are plenty of ways to donate used items to charity. But, sometimes deciding which items to donate can be painful and awkward. There's also the question of exactly where to donate them. You can donate them to individuals or you can donate an entire lot to various organizations.

What to Donate

Knowing what items to donate can be tricky. You can always donate everything you want to get rid of and let whoever you donate them to do the sorting. However, most of the people who work in the kinds of organizations that deal with donations aren't getting paid a lot, so you really should make it as easy on them as you can.

Don't donate items that have been in use around your private areas. If you donate any type of clothing, wash it before you do so. Also, its never a good idea to donate bought food products unless of course it is canned food or some other permanent sealed container. This small amount of effort will be greatly appreciated by the people who have to sort through the donated items.

If you have something you're unsure about donating, you can always call the place you're donating to and ask if they accept that item. Otherwise, only donate things that you absolutely are done with. Also keep safety in mind as you gather your items together to be donated. Wrap glass items and other breakables and place them in a box marked "breakable" or "fragile".

Where to Donate

If you want to donate an entire lot and you don't want to know who gets it, you can always drop your items off at your nearest charitable center, like Goodwill or the Salvation Army. If you want to get more personal about your donations, consider using Freecycle to donate. You simply join your area Freecycle group, and then list the items that you have to donate. Members of the group will email you if they are interested in the items that you have.

Facebook is another option for donating items. You can create a local group or join a local group that promotes swapping items or donating them. The Facebook album feature makes it easy to list pictures of items that you have to donate. People in the group can view them and message you if you have an item they're interested in.

Something you might want to think about when you donate items is where they are going to end up. For instance, if you're donating your child's old toys, you may not want to donate them to a local charity. It could be an awkward situation for your child to see one of his or her friends playing with a toy they didn't really want to get rid of in the first place.

There are more benefits involved in donating to charity than just getting your closets cleaned out or feeling good about helping someone out. Some donations are tax deductible. When you donate your items, get a receipt for the assessed value of the item so that you can claim the donation on your taxes later.

Remember that donating used items to charity is something that you can do to not only help the people in your community, but the planet as a whole. When items get donated, people that get those donations are more likely to donate items in the future. Your one item is reducing waste in more ways than one. It reduces waste directly by being donated instead of thrown away, but those who receive donated items are also reminded by the existence of the item that they too can donate items. The ripple effect of your one donation can be more than you ever would have expected!

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