The Do’s and Don’ts of Donating

Summer is officially in full swing and there’s no better time of the year to clean out your closet, basement or extra storage spaces to organize your home. Donating your gently used clothing, food, toys, and other supplies is a sustainable way to get rid of extra items without throwing them away. However, donating the right items to places where people in need will actually receive them is vital. Below is a list of ways you can make a difference when it comes to donating your items.

DO:

  • Research before you donate to make sure your items will go to people in need. Check out this list of where to donate everything in your home from A-Z.
  • Separate toiletry items from food items to avoid the food tasting like soap or other strongly scented products.
  • Wash your clothes before donating them for a better chance that they will actually be worn. Also, be considerate of what you are donating by making sure the clothing is in decent shape.
  • Find a suitable drop-off location for your donations. Some good options are Goodwill, Salvation Army, Greater Cleveland Food Bank, Dress for Success, The City Mission,  Habitat for Humanity ReStore, homeless shelters and churches.
  • Take the time to have a conversation with the people you are donating to if you meet them. Just taking the time to hear their story will make a big difference in both of your lives.

DON’T:

  • Forget to ask what is needed before you give, especially when it comes to donating food. Choose non-damaged packaging, non-expired food and nutritious options to give.
  • Include soap, shampoo and conditioner when donating to the homeless. Switch out those items for baby wipes instead.
  • Send snacks such as sticky and sweet breakfast bars since the receiver may not have access to dental care. Instead, donate snacks such as applesauce, pudding cups, trail mix and beef jerky.
  • Donate to clothing bins found in gas station or store parking lots. Often times, these boxes are a scam as donations are often resold for profit instead of reaching the right people.
  • Think of donating as a one-time deal. Continue to donate your gently used items by putting reminders on your calendar to keep you on track.

Donating is a great way to get rid of extra items in your house without feeling the guilt of throwing them away. Many people are in need of food, clothing and toys so it is important your donations actually reach them.

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