Charitable organizations appreciate non-monetary donations; in fact, some of them are more clothing- or home accessory-based than cash-based. Unfortunately, sometimes people use these charities as a dumping ground for items that are too worn or damaged to be donated. “People will donate all kinds of garbage to thrift stores thinking that because people are poor, they’ll take anything,” observed one Quora blogger.
How to Maximize Your Donation
Here are some tips to keep in mind when donating items to thrift stores or charities:
- Consider selling the items and donating the proceeds to charity. It’s a fun way to fundraise!
- If you think it’s trash, it probably is. Throw away stained and excessively worn or threadbare items. If it needs minor repairs, consider making the repairs yourself. If it’s beyond repair, toss it.
- Make a list. Even if you usually file “short form” taxes, you don’t know what the rest of the year will bring. Therefore, it’s a good idea to itemize your donations along with approximate value. Be realistic. Very few donated items are worth more than a dollar or two, except for large furniture or technology devices. Goodwill offers a Donation Valuation Guide, and most charities will provide receipts.
- Organize by grouping similar items together. Girls’ clothing goes in one group, dishes in another, books in another. Separating your donated items saves volunteers hours of work.
- Wash dirty clothes…seriously. Don’t donate dirty items at all, including clothing.
- Wrap fragile items, including ceramics, china, and dishes. All breakables should be secured, as broken items are of no value and can present cut hazards and injuries to volunteers.
Making a Difference Forever
“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones.” -Shannon L. Alder
Every charitable organization requires cash donations and volunteers to complete their mission. Maot Chitim of Greater Chicago needs YOU. If you are not financially able to donate money to our efforts, consider leaving a legacy. Your caregiving and support will live forever, touching lives every generation, and your blessings will be remembered. Call 847-674-3224 because we need your support . . . and your prayers!