5 Best Places to Donate Your Stuff.

 

Every time you drop off a bag of donations you no longer need, you might walk away feeling that warm glow you get from doing a good deed. But when it comes to donating your stuff, not all places are created equal.

Although secondhand stores may look similar on the inside, for-profit companies like Savers give pennies on the dollar directly to charities whereas nonprofit clothing resale organizations like Goodwill and Arc’s Value Village use what they make to fund job training and other important programming for the people they serve. Then there are the organizations that take your gently used items and get them directly into the hands of people who actually need them.

 Pro Tip: Although it can feel more convenient to just throw everything in a garbage bag and leave it at the nearest donation drop-box, these services cost money that could be better used elsewhere. If keeping your donations straight seems like a challenge, try organizing as you go: label empty boxes or bags with different categories, such as “Home Goods” or “Dress Clothes” and keep them in a closet to fill over the next couple months. Then, when one is full, visit one of the websites below to find a time to drop it off!

Pro Tip: Although it can feel more convenient to just throw everything in a garbage bag and leave it at the nearest donation drop-box, these services cost money that could be better used elsewhere. If keeping your donations straight seems like a challenge, try organizing as you go: label empty boxes or bags with different categories, such as “Home Goods” or “Dress Clothes” and keep them in a closet to fill over the next couple months. Then, when one is full, visit one of the websites below to find a time to drop it off!

Arc’s Value Village

Bloomington, Brooklyn Center, New Hope, Richfield, Saint Paul

This is the only classic thrift shop that made the list, but with five locations in the Twin Cities, it’s the only one you really need! Arc’s Value Village Thrift Stores directly fund programs and services that benefit people with developmental disabilities and their families through The Arc of Minnesota. Donating your used clothing and home goods here is super convenient, plus they’re one of our favorite spots to shop for ourselves!

Bridging

Bloomington and Roseville

If you’re moving soon, or just decluttering your home for your new years resolution, Bridging is a fantastic organization that will take your gently used furniture and home goods and provide them directly to people transitioning out of homelessness. Instead of going through the hassle of selling off piece by piece on Craigslist for a few measly dollars, you can drop everything off at one of Bridging’s warehouses and know that they will bring hope and joy to a family’s new home. 

Dress for Success

Saint Paul

As you cut down on your own work wardrobe (uniforms, for the win!), think about giving your no-longer-needed pieces directly to a woman who is making a fresh start for herself. Dress for Success is a non-profit that provides low income women with a variety of services to help them find economic independence and career stability, including free professional clothing and accessories to wear to job interviews. While an outfit won't land the job, it can boost confidence and help employers see the qualified candidate beneath the suit. 

Harriet’s Closet

Minneapolis and Maplewood

This is the best spot for all your perfectly good clothes and shoes that Buffalo Exchange passed on. At Harriet’s Closet, part of Tubman family crisis and support services, women and young people in some of the most dire circumstances can shop for up to three outfits per month at no cost. They even have personal shoppers to help clients find the perfect outfit to feel confident as they interview and begin employment or attend court proceedings. Your clothes can truly make a difference for someone else.

PCs for People

Saint Paul

Electronic waste is a big problem - not just in landfills, but in our homes as well. According to the EPA, there are around 110.2 million desktop computers, monitors, and laptop computers stockpiled in American storerooms, attics, garages, and basements. Luckily, your old laptops, TV, speakers, or that printer from college that you never use anymore can all find a second home through PCs for People, whose mission is to create new opportunities by filling the technology gap in our communities. This is a way better option than the trash OR your storage unit!

Looking to donate something specific that’s not covered above? Use the awesome search function on ReUSE MN’s website to find the perfect local match. https://www.reusemn.org

Written By Natasha Brownlee.