A donation resource list for harder-to-donate items

Back in May 2014 I wrote a list of places to donate furniture, fur coats, musical instruments, and more. I’ve since found additional donation alternatives that I’d like to share. These are mostly places that take harder-to-donate items. Others just caught my eye because their missions might appeal to some donors — and many of us find it easier to unclutter when we know our items are going to good new homes.

Medical equipment: Donating lightly used items such as walkers and hospital beds used in home care can be a challenge. Med-Eq matches donors with charities that need what the donors are offering. You fill out a simple online form, and the staff at Med-Eq will choose a recipient. The receiving party covers any costs, such as mailing expenses for smaller items. (Larger items would be picked up.) My thanks to organizer Adonna Braly, who recently reminded me of this one.

Diabetes supplies: Nicole Kofman and Kelly Close wrote about a number of places to donate these often-expensive items on the website diaTribe. While you’ll incur some expense in mailing these items off, you’ll have the reward of knowing you’ve helped someone in need. I learned about this from organizer Julie Bestry, so she gets a big thank-you, too.

Wigs: EBeauty Community has a wig exchange program providing free wigs to women experiencing hair loss due to chemotherapy.

Musical instruments: Although I’ve covered instruments before, I recently discovered another resource: Instruments in the Cloud, which allows donors to connect with local teachers who are looking for instruments.

Postage stamps: You may want to sell these, but if you prefer to donate them the American Philatelic Society will gladly take them. The society says, “Most common material is used for youth and educational programs.” Those programs need several hundred pounds of stamps every year! Supplies such as glassine envelopes that are in good condition are welcome, too. Of course, you could also check with a local stamp club, if you have one. And some teachers might find these useful, too.

Homemade blankets: Do you enjoy quilting, knitting or crocheting and wind up making more quilts or afghans than you, your family, and your friends can ever use? Project Linus will be glad to take them to give to seriously ill or traumatized children ages 0-18. Materials that can be used to make blankets can also be donated, if you want to reduce your stash. You can drop off donations with local chapters or mail them in. Thanks to quilter Louise Hornor for reminding me about Project Linus. Note: These must come from smoke-free environments for allergy reasons.

Beanie Babies: Operation Gratitude sends care packages to deployed troops, and all those care packages include Beanie Babies or other small plush toys. Gently used ones are accepted.

4 Comments for “A donation resource list for harder-to-donate items”

  1. posted by Karen on

    Your local Hospice will take many medical items such as walkers, shower chairs and so on. Also Senior Centers will take the same. Our local senior center also took a massive jigsaw puzzle collection and fabric and craft items as well.

    I get a lot of free magazines and tried to find a place to donate those without much luck. Then after spending almost an entire day at the hospital… fasting… waiting for the diagnostic machine to be fixed,,, found out the entire hospital had ZERO mags to read while waiting. I asked and they said people walk off with them all the time. So I take my magazines there now.

    Thanks for the suggestions for dontating musical instruments. 🙂

  2. posted by Bridget Wall on

    I was surprised to see that my local goodwill now accepts medical donations, from walkers to nebulizers. It’s a pretty new development, and I don’t know if that’s something that extends being mine, but it’s worth taking a look next time you donate something to see if there’s a giant medical supplies pile.

  3. posted by Teq on

    You can donate clothes that don’t fit you anymore to nursing homes. They will even accept craft supplies so they can keep the residents busy.

  4. posted by Angela on

    After No Nonsense stopped taking hosiery for recycling, I found I could send them to Recycled Crafts. If you are interested, their email is [email protected].

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