Downsizing and Donating: Where to Give Used Items

Spring is the season for cleaning, so how about doing some downsizing? There are many benefits to cleaning out your closet, such as facilitating future moves, revisiting old memories, and making space for new articles to meet current and evolving needs.

 

There is another great benefit to downsizing: the opportunity to give items that you no longer want to those in need. It can be hard to know where to start when you have lots of stuff to pass on, especially if you have not only used clothing but also furniture and other household items to give. We have some suggestions for you! Large outlets like the Salvation Army are widely known and receive lots of donations, but there are many worthwhile local charities that we have highlighted here for you as well. For your convenience, we’ve also noted the charities that pick up items for you, and suggested ones that benefit all members of your greater community, from fellow seniors to furry friends, struggling youth, and women in crisis.

 

Charities Picking Up Furniture, Fashion and Small Household Items

 

1) Diabetes Canada – Formerly known as the Canadian Diabetes Association, Diabetes Canada helps people with this health condition to meet others with diabetes and enjoy healthy lives. They pick up donations of gently used clothing, electronics, kitchen appliances, and bedding among other items, though not furniture. Donations can be arranged over the phone, in person or online, including a free pick up. As the organization says, de-cluttering can have its own rewards, in this case the chance to win a $5,000 vacation! For more information visit: http://www.diabetes.ca/how-you-can-help/declutter.

 

2) Habitat for Humanity – This international non-profit organization aims to provide access to safe and decent housing for everyone, everywhere. The Greater Vancouver branch has built homes for 31 families in need of housing so far. Volunteers build homes using materials donated by corporate sponsors and fill them with items donated by home-owners. Habitat for Humanity accepts furniture, home décor, art, appliances, building supplies, tools, and articles from the kitchen and bathroom. They pick up items at your curb-side for free! For more information, visit: https://www.habitatgv.ca/page.aspx?pageId=3

 

3) Helping Families in Need Society – Helping Families in Need Society is a non-profit organization of volunteers who pick up (free of charge) and distribute (in some cases free of charge, or for a nominal fee) donations of furniture, clothing, shoes and small household items for families on income assistance, refugees, new immigrants, and needy families in Vancouver. For more information: http://helpingfamiliesinneed.org/?page_id=16

 

4) HomeStart – Much like Helping Families in Need, HomeStart provides donated furniture to families that need it. They pick up furniture, store it, and deliver it for only $260. They accept small furniture, electonics, and rugs, but no glass. For more information: http://www.homestart.ca/donations.htm

 

5) Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver – Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver supports child and youth development through volunteer initiatives, for instance, providing a bullied child with an adult mentor. They do not accept furniture donations, but they do accept clothing, accessories, shoes, housewares, blankets, toys, tools, and appliances, among other items, which they will pick up. You can also win a cruise for two after donating, or $500 towards gas or groceries, and other prizes every month. For more information: https://www.bigbrothersvancouver.com/clothing-donation/book-a-pick-up/

 

Charities Accepting Drop-Off Furniture, Fashion, and Small Household Items

 

1) West End Seniors Network – The West End Seniors Network is an English Bay organization that provides entertainment and emotional support to seniors in the community, from peer counselling to birthday luncheons and strawberry festivals. They also run a thrift store called Clothes and Collectibles, located in Denman Place Mall on Denman Street. If you are interested in making a donation of clothing, accessories, books or other small household items, call 604-682-0327 to check in before dropping them off. It’s also a fun place to shop! For more information, visit: http://wesn.ca/clothes-and-collectibles/

 

2) The Hob (Hospice Opportunity Boutique) – The Hob is a volunteer-run thrift store originally based in Kerrisdale that sells women’s clothing in support of the Vancouver Hospice Society’s work in end of life care. With sister locations that sell furniture and household items in Dunbar, Hob Too and Hob Furniture, the Hob chain accepts donations of gently loved women’s clothing and accessories, small furniture, artwork, vintage items, glassware, and linens, and distribute anything they do not sell to other charities. For more information: http://www.vancouverhospice.org/charity_shops.htm#tab1

 

3) Aunt Leah’s Place Urban Thrift – Aunt Leah’s Place is an organization that supports mothers in crisis and at risk of losing their kids to the foster system. It also runs a thrift store on East Broadway in Mount Pleasant that sells everything from “pre-loved” clothing and accessories to Christmas lights, art, and books. Proceeds support Aunt Leah’s Place’s work. Donations must be dropped off. For more information visit: http://auntleahs.org/social-enterprise/urban-thrift/

 

4) The BC SPCA – The SPCA finds homes for stray domesticated animals and aims to protect the welfare of all animals. They are partly funded through thrift stores, including locations in Richmond and Vancouver, which in some cases accept donations of clothing, rugs, games, appliances china, electronics, books and furniture. Donations must be dropped off. For more information, visit: http://www.spca.bc.ca/about/locations/thrift-stores/. Local SPCA branches also accept donations of toys, towels, blankets and other items, including washers and dryers in some cases, though you need to contact your local SPCA to check beforehand.

 

5) Covenant House – Covenant House is a social services organization that shelters homeless and street involved youth and provides crisis outreach and life skills training to open up new paths for struggling youth, 16-24 year old. They are always accepting donations of non-perishable food, pots, pans and other kitchen items, bedding and other small household items, but also have restrictions on what they will accept. For instance, they do not take art but they do take art supplies. Donations must be dropped off. For more information visit: http://covenanthousebc.org/donate/donate-items?_ga=2.196539756.1534884874.1494576353-1839913082.1494576300

 

Happy spring cleaning!