Want to declutter your home and do good at the same time? Then consider donating your unwanted items to one of these non-profits, rather than throwing everything out. Too many old items end up in landfills when they could get reused.
You’ll clear up space and be able to claim the value of your donated items on your taxes, if you do itemized deductions. You’ll also know that you helped people in need.
We’ve broken up the organizations into three categories, “General Assistance for the Needy,” “Help for Job Seekers,” and “Help for Veterans.”
General Assistance for the Needy
You no doubt are familiar with Goodwill stores. They sell gently-used clothing, kitchenware, and many other goods at low prices, because everything they sell has been donated. Goodwill employs thousands of people with disabilities, and people who need to improve their job skills, including veterans.
You can donate just about anything that’s in good shape to Goodwill. Their website will fill you in on details, but some of the things they take are the aforementioned clothing and kitchenware, plus furniture, books, and a whole lot more.
Salvation Army thrift stores are similar to Goodwill stores, though Salvation Army seems to focus a bit more on furniture. This popular non-profit helps the poor across the United States with food pantries, homeless services, disaster relief assistance, and much more. If you want to help people get out of poverty, this is a great organization to donate to.
They take furniture, clothes, electronics, books, art, and more.
Help for Job Seekers
This non-profit specializes in helping men who are out of work procure gainful employment. In addition to providing career assistance, Career Gear provides these men with needed suits and other professional clothing for interviews and work.
This is a great place to donate your gently used suits, including parts of suits, like coats, ties, dress shirts, shoes, and briefcases. You’ll be helping men get ahead and help support themselves and their families.
Dress for Success
Yes, there are organizations that help women get back into the workforce, too, and that includes Dress for Success. This non-profit spans the globe, and provides career training and more for women living in poverty.
Like Career Gear, they primarily take clothing. This includes business suits and parts of business suits for women, work shoes, and more. Donating will help women and their families get ahead.
Help for Veterans
Cause USA helps veterans and their families through various programs and events that improve their lives. They also give gift packs to help keep up veterans’ spirits in tough times.
Those packs include handheld games, books, current magazines, playing cards, and much more. If you have books or recent magazines you’ve already read, or other fun items, there may be a veteran who would enjoy them too.
Forgotten Soldiers Outreach
Being deployed in a foreign nation, especially during time of war, can’t be easy, so Forgotten Soldier Outreach exists to provide various things our soldiers may need when abroad.
Their care packages include batteries, socks, envelopes for letters, trash bags, and much more. Contact them for specifics. The organization can help you put together a care package. This non-profit also takes monetary donations, but if you have nice items you no longer need, consider sending them.
If you specifically need to reduce the number of books in your collection, Operation Paperback is an excellent non-profit charity that could use your help. This group sends gently used paperback books to soldiers and veterans around the world, including in the U.S. This is an especially kind gesture for those who can’t afford to get new books they’d like to read, or who are in countries where obtaining books is difficult. Visit the site to find out how you can send your already-read, but good-quality paperbacks.
Vietnam Veterans of America
This organization exists to help all struggling veterans in the United States. Vietnam Veterans of America is a growing organization serving about a dozen states currently. If you live in one of those states, which includes California, Oregon, Colorado, Florida, New York, and others, you can schedule a pickup of the goods you want to give.
They also take gently-used items that you have to give, like clothing, toys, small appliances, purses, and more. The items they collect go to veterans and their families to help improve their lives.
Any of these worthy organizations could use your donations. What is clutter to you may be treasures to someone else.
You might also consider looking into local non-profits that need various items. For instance, you may find a local organization that helps people get back into the job market with training and work-appropriate clothing. Or, you may find a local thrift store associated with a shelter that helps homeless families get back on their feet.
The takeaway is this: when cleaning out old items, remember that you can help yourself, and help those in need, by giving them to the right non-profits.