It’s that time of year again: spring cleaning season. As many young professionals (YPs) are revamping their wardrobes, changing up home décor, and cleaning out garages, a variety of national and local charities are standing by ready and willing to take our old stuff off our hands. If you, like most of us, have a garbage bag in your closet full of used winter wear, or an old lamp or table waiting by the backdoor, consider donating them to one of our nation’s fine charities. Each one listed below provides either handy neighbourhood locations or drop-boxes, or will come right to you. Why waste perfectly usable items that could provide aid to others in need? And why add more strain to our already suffering environment? If you consider yourself a fortunate YP able to buy new clothes at the change of a season and to refresh your home when the feeling strikes you, then pass on some of that good fortune to those less lucky. It’s never been easier and more necessary to donate our used stuff, so let’s get to it.
Canadian Diabetes Association
The Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) runs a program called “Clothesline” in partnership with everyone’s fave used clothing store, Value Village. According to the CDA website, every year the program diverts more than 48 million kilograms of clothing, household items and electronics from Canadian landfill along with raising $10 million annually (net), with 100 per cent directly benefiting the CDA as it continues to lead the fight against diabetes and find a cure. Wow! To donate your used items to this amazing program, schedule a free pickup, either by phone or online, or drop your stuff at your nearest drop box. All that info can be easily found right here.
Habitat For Humanity
“Did you know, even a donated doorknob can help habitat?” That’s the message Habitat for Humanity wants to get out to all you shed cleaners, garage purgers, and DIY renovators this spring. Habitat’s ReFit Stores offer various new and gently-used home construction items for sale at reduced prices, like windows, tools, fixtures, etc. Whether you have items to donate or are looking for recycled materials yourself (how eco-friendly and trendy of you!), Habitat’s ReFit Stores provide a super outlet for giving back. Proceeds from items sold go to Habitat’s well-known home building projects. For more on where to donate or who to call for a pickup, see here.
Probably one of the most well-known charities in Canada, The Salvation Army runs thrift stores nationwide, which help fund their various programs, like food banks, elderly services, disaster relief, and youth camps. Salvation Army thrift shops also provide an inexpensive option for shoppers seeking affordable clothing, housewares, and furniture. To donate your small items, head over to any Salvation Army Thrift Store or to one of their convenient drop bins. For larger furniture items, you can call to schedule a pickup. Check out ThriftStore.ca to find your closest locations and for local phone numbers.
Humane Society of Canada (and other animal rescue organizations)
Humane Societies across Canada, along with the many other animal shelters and rescue organizations, are always in need of our used blankets, bedding, towels, old newspapers, used pet items, and even office supplies. Look up your local Humane Society branch, SPCA or neighbourhood animal shelter, and check out their “wish list” to find out their current needs.
This list is far from exhaustive. When it comes to finding new uses for our old stuff, there are innumerable charity options at the local level. Organizations such as The Canadian Kidney Foundation, Goodwill, Big Brothers Big Sisters, various Cerebral Palsy foundations, “Dress for Success” programs, women’s shelters and transition houses, immigrant aid charities, etc. are all very worthy causes that seek out reusable items and operate in various provinces and cities across the country.
Regardless of who or what you choose to support, the most important thing is that our perfectly usable stuff not go to waste, nor add to the growing piles of garbage already plaguing the planet. It can take as little as a few clicks, a single phone call, or a quick trip to put that old stuff to new and good use. There’s just no excuse, so happy cleaning, and happy giving!
#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)