Since Marie Kondo swept into stardom with her tidying tips and home makeovers, millions of people are choosing joy and purging their lives and living spaces of accumulated stuff. Doesn’t it feel great to free up closet space, get rid of dust collecting doodads, and clear the paper piles from countertops? But now many of us are facing boxes of items that are no longer wanted or needed but are too nice for the trash. If we don’t get them out of the house and soon, we just might change our minds and decide we can’t part with them after all.
So what do we do with all this stuff? The first charity that comes to mind is Goodwill, providing jobs to people with disabilities, or who can’t otherwise find employment, for over 100 years. Goodwill accepts clothing, accessories, household goods and nearly anything that can be re-sold. You can take your items right to the store, and they’ll even provide a cart if you need help unloading. Keep in mind that items should be in working condition, free of stains or rips, and not subject to recalls. If you have items such as large electronics, mattresses or vehicles, it’s best to call first and ask about any restrictions.
There is also Salvation Army, whose proceeds fund their Adult Rehabilitation Centers, where those struggling with drugs and alcohol find help, hope, and a second chance at life. They accept about the same type of items as Goodwill, but the Marietta site is a small space so call ahead if you have large items. A new thrift store, The Trading Post, has opened at 1001 Pike Street in Marietta, and its proceeds support the Ohio Wilderness Camp. The camp is a nonprofit therapeutic behavioral camp for boys aged 9 to 15 located along the Noble-Monroe county line. They accept clean items ranging from clothing to furniture, and volunteers staff the store to support its faith-based programs. There is a barn behind the building where donations can be dropped off at any time of day or night.
If you have gently worn clothes you’d like to donate, several area organizations can put them to good use. Betsy’s Closet, at the Betsy Mills Club, helps women dress for new jobs and interviews by helping them put together professional wardrobes. They also conduct fundraisers to finance their other worthy projects, so you may be able to donate items in addition to clothing and accessories.
The twice-yearly sales hosted by the Zonta Club draw huge crowds and serve two purposes. Zonta International seeks to empower women and girls through service and advocacy projects. One of their biggest fundraisers is the Unique Boutique, where people can buy quality, gently worn clothing and accessories at a fraction of the retail value. The funds help advance their projects of advocacy and preventing violence against women. In addition, people who may not otherwise afford new clothes can add to their wardrobe. Their next sale is April 5th and 6th, and they will be accepting donations next week.
Most of us are familiar with the various food pantries and Harvest of Hope. Some pantries such as the Gospel Mission Food Pantry in Harmar, also help needy residents with housewares or children’s items. And many area churches have annual rummage sales to support their various programs and community projects. They are usually happy to accept donations of clean, unbroken items and gently worn clothing. Contact one near your home to see about making a donation.
Another worthy charity is Habitat for Humanity, the organization that helps low income families buy houses using sweat equity and creative financing. Their retail facility in Parkersburg, the ReStore shop, is a treasure trove of furniture, building supplies, household goods and home décor. They will even pick up donations if you are unable to transport large items. And if it’s books that are looking for new homes, several agencies accept donations for their used book sales, including the Washington County Public Library and the Ely Chapman center.
You probably know that Eve, Inc. offers women a safe haven when they need to leave a violent home or abusive relationship, along with intervention and support services. Some victims leave their homes with few possessions, and often with children, so specific types of donations are helpful. Since the shelter is not accessible to the public, contact the agency if you’d like to help.
Do you have pet supplies you no longer need? The Humane Society of the Ohio Valley operates on a tight budget and donations are welcome. Pet care supplies, unopened food, and even blankets and towels are helpful in their daily operations.
This is not an exhaustive list of worthy charities, but hopefully we’ve given you a good starting point for disposing of your unwanted items without adding to landfills. While you are admiring your newly de-cluttered space and enjoying time freed up by being more organized, you can also feel good about helping others.