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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Giving to Charitable Thrift Stores

For month 3 of WGBOD's 12 Months of Giving, I'll share some tips for donating items to your local charitable thrift store.
As a teenager I had the opportunity to volunteer at two different thrift stores: Deseret Industries and the Fred Jordan Mission. Today, I volunteer bi-monthly at the Assistance League Thrift Store. It is a lot of fun and very rewarding knowing that all the money that comes in goes to help my community.

So, clean out your cupboards, closets, and garage and pass some items on to new homes. Here are some tips:

Choosing a Charitable Thrift Store
  • Choose a store in your community. Most likely the money earned will help people in your local area.
  • Donate where you shop. It is so easy to drop off a bag, box or two when you do your shopping.
  • Choose a charity that is close to your heart.
  • or, pick one that will pick up items from your home or work.
  • Check out for charitable thrift stores in your area.
What to donate
Each store has different needs/wants. Check with the store for specifics but below are some pretty standard donations. 
  • clean clothing
  • shoes (my tip: tie shoelaces together so they don't get separated)
  • books
  • knick knacks
  • toys
  • linens
  • kitchenware
  • CDs, DVDs (Originals only. Not burned or copies. )
  • jewelry, belts, and handbags
What NOT to donate
Again, check the specific needs of your thrift store.  Below are some pretty standard items that are not accepted by most stores, many times because of federal laws.
  • mattresses
  • paint and other chemicals
  • tires
  • torn upholstered furniture
  • broken electronics
  • medications
  • newspapers
Some great charities that have thrift stores
Many wonderful charitable organizations raise funds through a thrift store. However, it is important to note that not all thrift stores are run by charities. The Charities Review Council has a good article about the distinction and also has information on charities.

Below are some of my favorites.
Don't forget to ask for a receipt. Your donation could be tax-deductible. 

Do you have a favorite thrift store that I didn't list? Any tips for donating/shopping at thrift stores? Favorite thrift store purchase?  I am all about the thrift stores lately. :) Thanks for visiting.

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