This is a great post to check out if you're heading back to school and have clothes, linens, utensils or anything else gently-used that you may want to get rid of. Information also applies for anyone cleaning out around the house too!
Approximately a month ago, when my mom and I began some intense house-cleaning, we ended up with an enormous donate pile. Most of what was in this pile were items that were still highly usable. Except, we hadn't used them in years (and they were now dust bunny collectors) or we simply didn't need them any more (since we had outgrown them). Most people would take a trip down to Goodwill and dump their old goods there, letting the Goodwill employees sort through their old junk, keeping what they wanted and getting rid of the rest.
Well, have you heard about how Goodwill does some "good business" by exploiting the Fair Labor Act (FLA) and paying disabled workers sub-minimum wages? If you haven't, I would check on out this Forbes article or this NBC News video that showcases what is really going on. Just because it's legal, definitely does not mean it is right. I mean isn't their name good will?
Talk about ironic.
Also, from what I've heard (don't quote me on this), Goodwill doesn't actually keep a whole lot of what you give away to them. And the fact being? They resell your old things. Personally, I prefer knowing that when I donate something, it is going to someone who really needs it and not to someone looking for a cheap buy.
My advice, at least for girls, is to look up your nearest women's shelter.
This can be done by checking out Women's Shelters and looking for one nearby in your state. The women who come to these shelters are in real need of everything and anything for around the house, more than you may realize. Typically, they arrive at these shelters with little to absolutely nothing in their possession.
The best way to explain how a women's shelter works is that they serve as transitional shelter. These women are trying to get back on their feet. They not only need clothes, but they need items to begin an entirely new life and essentially furnish a new home. Donations will vary from shelter to shelter, but most household items can be donated.
What you can donate:
- Jewelry and other accessories
- Personal hygiene and beauty products
- Mattresses and pillows
- Cleaning supplies
- Sports equipment
None of these items have to be brand new (obviously they can be) but you don't want to be handing them trash either. For example, I had some old necklaces that I no longer wore, perfume which I was no longer a fan of, and room decor which felt too young for me. These items went in the donate pile and were readily accepted by my local women's shelter.
Before heading over to your local women's shelter, you will need to call them first for several reasons.
First, call them to see what sorts of donations they accept. Afterwards, you will need to arrange a drop-off time and ask exactly where they're located. Addresses are not listed anywhere online, simply phone numbers. This is for the protection of the women, as many individuals come from abusive environments.
- Check out Women's Shelter to find a shelter near you.
- Call first to see what can be donated and to arrange a drop-off time.
- Collect anything and everything you want to donate that can be used to help furnish a new life.
- Drop off your donations!
These donations may or may not be tax-deductable. Again, this is something you will need to check. Even if they aren't, I think that happy, fuzzy feeling of giving another women a leg-up is enough to suffice.