Doing A Big Purge? Here’s Where To Donate To Help Those In Need

 I feel like I constantly clean out my wardrobe every other week, and that’s not all. I’m the type of person who is constantly tidying up and getting rid of furniture, old technology, and anything else I don’t think I have a use for anymore. Whenever I wanted to donate something of mine, I would usually drive through the Goodwill drop-off but I’ve come to the realization that my donations could be doing so much more.

If you’re like me and are constantly purging but don’t want to just drop your donations off at a thrift store, this article is for you. It’s funny to think that something you don’t want anymore could land in the hands of someone who really needs it. Whether you’re wanting to donate work clothes, evening gowns, furniture, or children’s toys, we’ve compiled a list of local and national ways to make sure you’re actually benefitting those in need.


Where Shouldn’t I Donate?

Like I said before, my old habit was just to head over to Goodwill so I could quickly get rid of items I don’t want anymore. But when you give your items to major corporations, it can sometimes feel like you’re funding their controversies. For Goodwill, it has been reported that people with disabilities have died from injuries sustained in Goodwill’s unsafe workplace practices. They also pay their disabled employees less than minimum wage. The Salvation Army has also been called out, specifically for discriminating against LGBTQ people. Beyond these two, many other popular thrift stores are not nonprofits, meaning they will profit off of your donations.

Where Should I Donate?

When you donate to big corporations, you may be unsure as to where your items are even ending up. On the other hand, when you donate directly to shelters and to those in need, you are putting your items right in the hands of those who need them most. Because of this, I have strayed away from donating to big corporations that will sell the items I bring in and have found ways to directly give back to the community around me. Here are some common items you may want to donate and local organizations that will be happy to take your items in.

Work Clothes

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If you have professional garments that you don’t wear anymore (especially if you work from home now like me), there is a perfect organization to bring your clothes to. Dress For Success is a not-for-profit organization that works to empower women “to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire, and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.” You can donate work clothing and accessories to an affiliate in your area or donate money online

For men’s work attire, you can email [email protected] to donate gently used or new business attire to Career Gear or donate money on their website. Career Gear works with youth (age 16-24), veterans, and those looking for employment post-incarceration. They also value sustainability by promoting a paperless process, using approved recycling options, and reusing whenever possible.

Evening Gowns

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For high school girls who can’t afford prom dresses, Becca’s Closet takes formal dress, costume jewelry, formal shoes, dressy purses, and handbag donations. Another organization, Operation Prom is a national network of prom-related charities based on location. One more option is Cinderella’s Closet which is a similar organization available in many U.S. states.

Toiletries/Female Care Items/Diapers/Baby Items

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Always look for women’s shelters (emergency shelters, transitional housing, domestic violence shelters, and family shelters) in your area so you can donate toiletries, female care items like period products, and baby items like diapers and wipes. You can also donate toiletries through Shoebox Ministry or donate money to help their mission.

Pantry/Kitchen Items

If you have pantry or kitchen items to donate, you can find a soup kitchen in your area. Beyond volunteering when you have the time, many soup kitchens eagerly take pantry and kitchen item donations. They also usually take food donations like canned goods.


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Furniture Bank Network is a collection of furniture banks across the United States. Another great resource for donating furniture is listing it in the free section of your local Craigslist or on Facebook Marketplace or OfferUp as free. This makes it possible for those in need to pick up items they may be in search of.

Children’s Clothing/Toys/Books

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Much like furniture, listing children’s items for free on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace or OfferUp can help parents who are in need are on the lookout. Childhelp has many options so you can help children in need as well. You can also find a women’s or family shelter near you to donate these items.


Did we miss anything? Leave a comment below if you have any recommendations for where to donate other household item donations.

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