Donate Good Stuff added over 2,000 donation sites over the past two days across Minnesota and the US from all kinds of medical providers & community-facing workers. These requests give a view into the situation people are faced with right now. They are full of urgency and gratitude:
It is uplifting and inspirational to see how quickly people are coming together all over the country to respond - providing materials, sewing, and logistics to get things where they are most needed.
Right here in Minnesota, we have the Twin Cities Mask Makers, and Treadle Yard Goods has provided free kits. Across the nation, there are armies of people mobilizing - #MillionMaskMayday, #MillionMaskChallenge among others.
Many ways to help
Mask-making is not the only way people are responding. Helping neighbors in need, reaching out to those who are isolated, and sharing beautiful, funny, & inspirational posts to keep anxiety at bay are all important contributions to the effort.
There is no question COVID-19 is serious. And it's true, we are short on supplies. But we can choose to focus on the difference we CAN make - staying at home, social distancing, washing hands, disinfecting high-touch surfaces, getting supplies out as quickly as we can, and keeping each other's spirits up in all kinds of creative ways.
We'll get through this together.
Here are 9 items to consider donating as you de-clutter
#1 Toilet Paper
Many organizations collect toilet paper and other basic necessities to help people who may be financially struggling. Programs like Eastside Elders appreciate these common items that can be expensive for people on a limited income. Search here to find a non-profit near you that is in need of extra basics you might have laying around.
#2 Car Seats
You might not realize the benefit a car seat can be to a parent or guardian taking care of babies and young children! Consider donating car seats, strollers, etc to a safety-net program for families like Sharing and Caring Hands. Before you donate items that another family will rely on, be sure they are still safe and double-check the organization's current requests and details for accepting donations.
#3 Small Travel Size Toiletries
So many people travel and typically pick up small toiletries, which then end up sitting for months or years on your shelf and then end up in the trash. Instead of letting those travel size toiletries sit or throwing them out, consider donating them to a shelter for youth like Youth Link MN or other shelters near you. For hygiene sake, donate only the unopened ones.
When your car is no longer serving your needs don't just get send it to the junkyard! Many organizations need vehicles to transport those in need or to give a leg-up to someone who needs it. Did you know you can donate vehicles to places that actually fix them and also use them to help others such as Newgate School?
Did you know that many organizations have car donation programs (most use a third party to auction your car to help fund services. Be aware that some may not provide much benefit to the nonprofit although it can be a better bet than the junkyard)
Also consider donating to local technical schools or high schools with mechanic or automotive shop classes.
#5 Bedding and Sheets
Bedding and blankets are important in a disaster, emergency, and people in need. This is true year-round, and especially during the colder months.
Consider donating bedding, sheets, linens, and blankets with lots of life still in them to transitional housing programs like Haven Housing, emergency programs like STEP (Saint Louis Park Emergency Program), or programs serving new neighbors like MORE.
#6 Clean Plastic Shopping Bags
So many people just throw away plastics bags, but you can use them to help pets! Not only can you provide resources for animals, when you donate them to this Animal Humane Society, you also can help keep plastic out of landfills and the ocean.
If you can't find a place to donate them near you (note: in most cities you cannot include them with regular recycling), stores throughout the US will collect & recycle them like Target, Cub and also Goodwill. Find a convenient drop-off near you HERE.
Footwear is essential for those living in Minnesota! We rely on these not only in everyday life and especially in winter! When your shoes no longer serve their purpose in your life consider donating them to the Shoe Away Hunger program where they can be given a new life (drop off sites at all Schuler Shoes), or nonprofit resellers such as The Arc where profit from the sale of your items helps individuals with developmental and intellectual differences.
#8 Baby Formula
If you have gotten free formula in a brand that you don't use, or find you have extra once your little one no longer needs it, consider donating it (unopened and not expired). Formula can be expensive and it is such a basic item for many babies, it is truly appreciated by places serving mothers and children like North Side Life Care Center.
If you get a newspaper to read or just delivered to your home, you can do better than just tossing them when you are done. Animal shelters and rescues, like MN Pocket Pet Rescue, will appreciate your old newspapers to use as bedding for cuddly critters.
Ready to refresh your Spring and Summer wardrobe?
Swap out those things in your closet that just never fit you, or your life, quite right for some new pieces to update your look for the season! You are sure to find some bargains (Does it get better than free??)
Where: Como Lake Pavilion - 1360 Lexington Pkwy N, St. Paul, MN 55103
(above Spring Cafe)
When: 1-3 pm.
How: Bring your "excellent used condition" clothing & accessories.
After a quick check-in, you'll place your items on tables organized by type of garment or accessories. Then shop!
What can I bring?
- Spring & Summer clothes & accessories (winter is sooo over)
- Stuff in "excellent used condition".
That means no repairs needed, no missing buttons, worn areas, faded t-shirts, broken zippers, stains, smells. Keeping it classy makes it fun and rewarding for everyone.
- Adult only clothes & accessories (no children's this time)
- Casual & dressy, shoes & belts, jewelry & purses, vintage & formal wear & jeans, maternity, and athletic wear are all welcome.
Q & A
Is there a limit on how much I can bring to the swap?
No, as long as everything is in Excellent Used Condition, there is no limit.
Is this swap for men and women?
Yes - This sale is open to all gender styles.
What happens to the items that are left?
We will sort them to be donated to local charities.
Is there a limit on how much I can take?
No, however, it is a community swap with neighbors so courtesy is key.
Want to help?
Does this sound like you......
You have stuff you no longer need and it's cluttering your space.
A lot of it is still good and could be used, if you could only find out what and who.
If it does, you only need two things to get you started:
1) The Declutter & Do Good Checklist will help you go through your things to find the hidden treasures most needed by organizations.
2) DonateGoodStuff.org shows you specific local organizations that need what you have.
The most important step is to take a step, even if it is a small one.
Start with just one area and go through the checklist below for that space. Set all items you no longer need aside in reused bags or boxes. Search for specific items or categories of items on DonateGoodStuff.org where you will find where and when to bring your items.
The best way to stay on top of stuff is to make decluttering a regular habit. Try starting each month or season out by doing one room or area. This will keep your space fresh, and ensures that stuff you don't need gets used. It is good for the community and your carbon footprint.
A friend recently posted this on Facebook and I was inspired! I've often had just a few things to donate and they tend to sit in a bag by my back door.....waiting.
So I am passing along this beautiful idea. A way to break the monotony of winter, declutter and organize a little (which always feels good) and do make a difference in your community.
Step 1) Pick something you've been meaning to donate and search for an organization that needs it on Donate Good Stuff.
Step 2) Post on social that you are doing a collection for more of that item and what you'll do with them. Make sure to include a deadline.
Step 3) Once collected, deliver to the organization/s and report back to the group.
Maybe you'll find it so rewarding, you'll decide to make it an annual event, or do it several times a year! We'd love to hear from any of you who have done something like this -- Comment below and share your pics!
If you are interested in doing a bra collection specifically, check out the article HERE for more ideas, including:
Do you have the goal of health and fitness for 2020? Doing a couch to 5k or looking forward to doing some races? Or would you just like to do something active with family and friends that benefits the community?
The Cookie 5k for Donate Good Stuff date is set for Saturday, May 30th! Join us for a beautiful morning around Como Lake, supporting our work and the fantastic organizations we work with.
Your support makes a difference to our local community and the earth, and will help us do even more in the coming year.
Take a Break from Retail Madness to