Donating Beyond Goodwill
When you organize your space and re-evaluate your belongings, chances are you’ll come across some things you don’t need, use, or love anymore. Some of those items may be so old that they’re destined for the trash or recycle bin. But in many cases, those items still have plenty of life and, if you don’t have the time and patience to sell them, are worth donating.
But where should you donate that stuff?
If you’re looking to make one big donation dump and be done with it, Goodwill is a perfectly fine choice, as are other major donation centers with multiple locations. But I often get asked about other organizations that support a specific cause or has a more direct impact on a certain group of people. I have plenty of recommendations for those organizations, but keep in mind that the more you separate your stuff for donation, the more trips and time it’s going to require.
Here are several places you may want to consider donating your excess stuff. Before you donate, be sure to check their website or call the organization to verify their donation guidelines. You don’t want your donation to be an unnecessary burden because it’s not something they can actually use. All of these organizations can be found in Oklahoma City, but most of them also have locations throughout the country, or there may be similar organizations close to where you live.
Dress for Success
Dress for Success in Oklahoma City is a great place to take women’s professional clothing—suits, blouses, purses, gently worn shoes, etc. Pretty much anything that you would wear on a job interview today. This one’s personal for me, as I also work there as the Boutique Manager and see the outstanding work they do to help women get back on their feet.
Center for Employment Opportunities
For men’s professional clothing, Center for Employment Opportunities is a great place to donate. They help formerly incarcerated individuals with job training, professional attire, and more.
YWCA – Our Sister’s Closet
Our Sister’s Closet is a resale shop that provides funding for YWCA Oklahoma City to help victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
Humane Society or other pet organizations
Have old ratty towels or sheets that aren’t up for human use anymore? Our furry friends will appreciate them; they’re one of the few well-worn items that are still functional! The Central Oklahoma Humane Society and other local pet rescue organizations often ask for donations of old towels or sheets on their social media pages. So before you toss those ratty towels, see if they can serve a purpose to help a pet in need.
Habitat for Humanity Restore
If you need to donate larger household items or an excess of building or remodeling materials, Habitat for Humanity Restore is the way to go. They do have minimum quantities required for things like paint and flooring material, so be sure to check their donation guidelines first. They will also pick up donations from your home.
Positive Tomorrows is an elementary school for Oklahoma City’s homeless children. They accept donations of clothing, personal care items, school supplies, gift cards, and much more.
City Rescue Mission
City Rescue Mission serves homeless adults and their children in the Oklahoma City area. They take donations of gently used clothing, personal hygiene items, food, school supplies, and medical supplies.
Infant Crisis Services
Infant Crisis Services provides formula, food, diapers, and other items to babies and toddlers in times of crisis. They accept donations of new baby items as well as gently used toys, games, and blankets.
Your local public school may accept donations of musical instruments, office and school supplies, theater and art department supplies, and much more. Contact the school office first to find out what they might need.
Regardless of where you’re donating your items, make sure stuff you donate is clean and in good repair. If it’s stained, torn, extremely outdated, or not professional, skip donating it as you don’t want to create unnecessary work for the organization.