Often times we find ourselves either doing a closet purge, replacing furniture, or looking to change color scheme or décor style. What happens to the items being replaced? The golden rule in our home has always been, if it is in good shape, DONATE. What we are not using, someone else can! Could we sell items on Craig’s list, Next Door, or local town social media swaps? Yes! However, we have always felt inspired donating to a charity that aligns with a cause we are passionate about. This is a true win/win approach that benefits a worthy cause and offers a great opportunity to those looking for bargains.
5 Reasons To Donate To Thrift Stores “Most thrift stores are created and run to benefit a specific cause. Many of them donate a portion or even all of their proceeds to a specific cause. From churches to, families to the homeless and many others, there are so many causes that you can be helping by donating to a thrift store. With the ability to donate to a good cause, give your clothing a second home and even finding some new pieces for yourself, it’s clear to see that thrift store shopping is a true win-win!”
Donating can be complicated because not all are organizations are non-profit. Some charities are for-profit and may not be clear about which charities they support, if any. This blog post shares information about how to choose items to donate, when to recycle, popular thrift stores and their profit or non-profit status along with charitable organizations supported.
Donating What You Are Not Using
Quality counts when donating to thrift store centers. Clothes, furniture and other household items (small appliances, vases, and home décor items) that are torn, stained or cracked most likely won’t lead to a successful sale. If a thrift store item(s) reflect a condition you wouldn’t purchase, then someone else probably won’t purchase it, either. Many years ago my husband and I donated a sofa to one of our favorite charities, Shepard’s Gate, a non-profit organization “Helping Women and Children Escaping Cycles of Addiction, Homelessness and Abuse”. When the truck came to pick up the sofa, which we had thoroughly cleaned, we were complimented on the new furniture we purchased and asked where to go for the sofa being donated. The men were shocked when we pointed to the sofa and said, “this one is for you.” We were surprised to hear that often donated sofas are stained, torn/holes, which are difficult to sell.
What happens to items received that are in poor condition? They get BULK sold and can end up in 3rd world countries, undermining domestic commerce thereby making it difficult for townspeople to become economically self-sufficient. Landfill is another destination for such donated items, which cannot be sold. Neither of these destinations are good options.
I rely on thrift stores to keep my family clothed and fed. What you donate matters By Melinda Selmys “Getting rid of trash donations can cost thrift stores money in garbage fees and makes extra work for volunteers. Dumping your drawers out into a box and expecting someone else to deal with it is not generous or environmentally conscious; it’s just inconsiderate.”
Rags or riches? Why thrift stores sell some donations and toss others, “Goodwill Industries of Denver, which operates the Fort Collins Goodwill and 28 others in the Denver area and Northern Colorado, discarded 1 in 3 donations in 2014. Call the store to double check that it can accept your donations.”
Often times the large bags we keep in the garage to collect clothing can collect unwanted visitors that squeeze through small spaces. Keep charitable giving bags inside the home, perhaps in a closet, to keep pests out.
9 Secrets of Thrift Store Employees “A former Goodwill employee who did a Reddit AMA once found a rat at the bottom of a bag of clothing. It made the entire back room smell, and we had to get rid of all the clothes.”
To fully support the charitable organization you are passionate about, donate items that are in fair shape, suitable for resale, so your contribution is a benefit and not a burden. Items that are not “donate suitable” can be recycled and eventually used for reproduction of fabrics, goods, and furniture. Check local recycle resources in your community. How to Recycle Clothing and Accessories Recycling Guide will lead you to recycle locations.
Thrift Stores and Charitable Organizations
The following is a list of popular thrift store organizations. Thrift stores can be unique to certain states and towns. The listing below contains national, state and local community organizations that might be available in your area. Check your own local thrift stores, determine if they are non-profit or for-profit and the supported charity/charities. This article offers an insightful summary… This is where your thrift store dollars are really going. The listing below includes some of the stores noted in the article.
Salvation Army Non-Profit 7,546 centers nationwide stocked with clothes, furniture, decorations and, of course, unlimited odds and ends. In addition to addiction rehabilitation and housing, Salvation Army offers Christmas assistance (dinners, gifts and community events for families in need), prison ministries, hunger and homeless relief and work against human trafficking.
Goodwill Non-Profit There are currently 3,000 stores nationwide stocked with everything from household goods to clothing. In addition, Goodwill offers community-building and job assistance for those who are underemployed, formerly incarcerated or disabled — though there has been controversy over how disabled employees are paid.
Housing Works Non-Profit There are currently 12 stores, all in New York City, offering antique furniture, high-end designer clothing, books and yes, even coffee. Additionally, Housing Works offers housing services, legal advocacy, medical and dental care, job training and rehabilitation.
ARC Non- Profit ARC Thrift Stores distributes the proceeds to the ARC and ACL Chapters in your community. ARC Thrift Stores’ mission is to ensure that all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families have the opportunity to decide how they live, learn, work, and play. We work, with your support, to create opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to be included in their communities.
Catholic Charities Non-Profit National Organization Catholic Charities extends the healing ministry of Jesus Christ to the poor and those in need. . Marisol Services, affordable housing, shelter services, early childhood education, family, kinship and senior services/home based counseling, emergency assistance, parish outreach, counseling
Habitat for Humanity Non-Profit Habitat for Humanity Stores (New Items), Habitat for Humanity ReStores (Donated Items) Habitat for Humanity is a global nonprofit housing organization working in nearly 1,400 communities across the United States and in approximately 70 countries around the world. Habitat’s vision is of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.
Treasures DE Task Force Non-Profit Non-profit human service organization dedicated to providing assistance to people in Colorado’s Douglas and Elbert counties who are in serious economic need, at risk of homelessness, or in a similar crisis. In 2016, Treasures on Park Street generated $386,993 in revenues which are used to help our neighbors here in Douglas and Elbert counties who are in financial crisis. Through thrift store sales we are able to provide funds to buy food for the Food Bank as well as monies to get heat, electricity and water turned back on, the rent paid, or emergency lodging funded for clients in need.
Buffalo Exchange For-Profit Also supports various charities.
Internet search thrift stores in your local community. Call the organization if the website doesn’t clearly indicate whether it is for-profit or non-profit, or to know the charity/charities being supported. Take the time to prepare donated items to be a benefit to charitable organizations/people who depend on your generosity. Your effort today will make the lives of those experiencing difficult challenges, a bit easier tomorrow. If you know someone who wants what you don’t, and is willing to pay for it, consider donating the money received. When you can, visit the thrift stores you support to see what sells and what doesn’t, to help plan your future donations. You might also come upon an awesome find yourself, and someone else’s generosity is now your thrifty treasure!!
- 5 Reasons To Donate To Thrift Stores
- Shepard’s Gate, Helping Women and Children Escaping Cycles of Addiction, Homelessness and Abuse
- I rely on thrift stores to keep my family clothed and fed. What you donate matters By Melinda Selmys Dec 14, 2016
- Rags or riches? Why thrift stores sell some donations and toss others
- 9 Secrets of Thrift Store Employees
- How to Recycle Clothing and Accessories, by earth911
- Direct Link to recycle guide, click Household for clothing and furniture listing
- This is where your thrift store dollars are really going