Weekly Quick Tips

Donating 101

Leading busy lives and living life large, many of us are looking for a way to help those in need, and donating used goods is perhaps the easiest, most affordable, and certainly one of the most efficient ways to help. We may be a society armed with credit cards and the ‘need’ for material things, either for ourselves or our families; we are also a society just as interested in giving back. Plus, your donation positively impacts our planet through waste reduction and natural resource conservation.   

“Even if funds are tight, people can give back by donating gently used items,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “At Goodwill, we turn these items into something very real: job training, employment placement services and other community-based programs for people who have disabilities, those who lack education or job experience, and others who face challenges to finding employment.”

Below find the top ten items that charities such as Goodwill, Value Village and Salvation Army Thrift Shops love to see donated.

10. Computers: At the end of their useful life, computers no older than 10 to 15 years can be donated at your local charity and recycled. Donor should be sure to delete personal data before donating.

9. Kitchenware: Gently used kitchenware including dishes, pots and pans and glassware can be donated at most charity locations.

8. Video Games: Did you know that donating 10 video games provides 47 minutes of on-the-job training for someone who dropped out of school but is getting back on track educationally thanks to a Goodwill job training program? Amazing opportunities for those less fortunate are sitting, unused and unloved in your basement!

7. Books: Upgrade from paperbacks to a Kindle or iPad this year?  Donate 15 books to Goodwill provides 26 minutes of career counseling.

6. CDs: You’ve got all your songs saved on hard drives and mp3 players…do you really need those hundreds of old CDs taking up space in the back of your closet?

5. Cell phones: Unused cell phones are one of the fastest growing kinds of trash in North America. Instead of discarding your old phone out, recycle or donate it. Donors should be sure to delete personal data before donating.

4. Household items: It’s time to give that lamp a new life. Lamps, frames, vases, baskets, and collectibles are just a few of the many items that you can donate to charity. Home furnishings are also in high demand, including dressers, chairs, bed-frames (not mattresses), desks, mirrors, file cabinets.

3. Bikes: Yes, most charities will take big-ticket items like bikes. When your children have outgrown theirs, or you’ve moved on to a new bike, consider donating.

2. Gift Cards: Billions of dollars in gift cards go unused every year. You can donate an unwanted gift card-with any unused amount on it-to your local charity!

1. Clothes: Suits, pants, dresses, shirts, coats, shoes, belts, hats…. Be sure that clothing is free of rips, tears, stains or other damage. Before you donate, please keep this in mind, “If you would give it to a friend, give it to charity.” Please help minimize the disposal fees paid by charities by donating only items that are in good and saleable condition.

**The list of items that a charity will accept may be changed and/or modified as needed to accommodate business needs and trends. Always contact your local store for a complete list of acceptable donations.

One of the most asked questions we hear when we present our Organizing, Downsizing AND Aging in Place Seminars is “where’s a good place to donate my stuff?” While we’re big fans of the charities we listed above, there are just as many ‘specific places’ to donate ‘specific stuff’. We also recommend saying ‘YES’ each time you get a call from Children’s Wish or Clothesline, and keep a donation bag ongoing in your household.

  • Donate your professional women’s clothing to Dress for Success, an international charity promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire. dressforsuccess.org
  • Re-Boot is a local non-profit organization that accepts donations of computer equipment, then re-distributes them to non-profit organizations and individuals with limited access to technology. Re-Boot issues tax receipts for the market value of your computer. 416-534-6017 or reboot-canada.ca
  • Kidsport Ontario is a non-profit organization that redistributes gently used sports equipment to needy kids. 416-426-7171 or kidsport.on.ca
  • Phone for Food is a collection project that uses donated cell phones to benefit Canadian food banks. 416-516-7465 or think-food.com
  • The Canadian Diabetes Association’s Recycle Ink Program sells ink jet and laser printer cartridges to a local company for re-manufacturing. 1-800-226-8464 ext 7139 or diabetes.ca and click on ‘support us’.
  • Habitat for Humanity operates thrift stores for donating and selling leftover renovation supplies. habitat.ca/restore for locations
  • Furniture Bank, a non-profit organization will pick up large furniture items, small appliances and household items. 416-934-1229 or furniturebank.org
  • Sketch is a non-profit organization that redistributes donated arts and crafts supplies to help homeless or at-risk children. 416-516-5428 or sketch.ca

Happy Donating!Copyright © 2013 Organizing Lives ® All rights are reserved and no part of this article may be reproduced or copied in any form or by any means unless expressly stated otherwise, or except with the written permission of Organizing Lives®. Enquires should be directed to: info@orgliv.mybusinesshub.ca