10 places that need your help
photo by Lance McCord
It’s the season for reselling unwanted gifts and rearranging our homes to accommodate new stuff. Out with the old and in with the new. Before you profit or purge, consider that there are others who will find value in the things you don’t want.
If you believe you don’t have anything to give, think again. There are many charities that will put your unwanted belongings to good use. Here are a few that accept common items.
UNWANTED SHOES: If you have shoes taking up space in your closet, I encourage you to donate them to Soles4souls.com . It provides shoes to people who need them desperately. You can even donate your old Crocs to Solesunited.com
UNWANTED SKIRTS, BLAZERS, BLOUSES: Dress for Success.org provides professional apparel to disadvantaged women to help them dress for job interviews. It provides a professional wardrobe, too, for women who find jobs. It is particularly in need of large-sized professional attire.
GENTLY USED STUFFED ANIMALS: If you’re looking for a way to introduce your children to donating, SAFE is a wonderful place to consider. It’ll accept your gently used stuffed animals, then clean and repair them and distribute them to children in need.
HAIR: If you have long hair and are considering a shorter haircut, please donate your hair to Locks of Love. Your donation is used to make hairpieces for disadvantaged children experiencing medical hair loss. Simply place your hair in a ponytail or braid when having it cut, and mail it to Locks of Love, 2925 10th Ave. N, Suite 102, Lake Worth, FL 33461-3099. Colored and permed hair is accepted, but bleached hair is not. Hair should be at least 10 inches long and packaged in a plastic zipper-type bag, then in a padded envelope that includes a slip of paper with your name and address. Call (561) 963-1677 if you have questions.
COATS: While some charities accept only new coats, One Warm Coat accepts gently used coats. Visit the Web site to locate a coat drive near you or start one yourself.
USED GLASSES: Help people in developing nations improve their vision by donating your used glasses to Lions Club. Children’s glasses are particularly needed. You can locate collection boxes in your community or mail to Lions Clubs International, Attention: Receiving Department, 300 W. 22nd St., Oak Brook, IL 60523.
CRAFT, SCHOOL AND OFFICE SUPPLIES: If you have craft items (yarn, paper-towel tubes, ribbon, knitting needles or buttons) or office supplies (pens, pencils, rubber bands, used calendars or CD jewel cases), they can be donated to SCRAP, which creatively reuses these materials through various art workshops; the organization also resells the materials through its store for educational and creative use. While SCRAP serves the Portland, Ore., area, it has a list on its Web site to help you find similar organizations near you.
SEWING MACHINES OR COMPUTERS: If you have these items collecting dust, consider giving them to the Filipino’s Children Fund. Donations are shipped to schools and organizations to help needy people. A simple sewing machine can be a way for a disadvantaged person to earn a living. For more information, contact Ross Inciong at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GARDEN SEEDS: WinterSown accepts donations of seeds. The seeds are used to help further its winter-seed-sowing educational efforts. Seeds are given in bulk to worthy organizations and also provided for only the cost of postage to interested individuals. WinterSown will accept saved seeds as well as packaged seeds.
FREE SAMPLES: If you have personal-grooming samples or trial-sized items stacking up, they can be sent to our soldiers. Visit Any Soldier to find a soldier. Of course, they can use much more, but these individual-sized items can be useful.