Spring is almost here. Never mind the 10 inches of snow that was dumped on Chicago this past week. I prefer to believe the Groundhog’s prediction of an early spring and revel in one extra hour of daylight starting this coming weekend. For myself, I associate spring with a fresh start, the beginning of the running season and a clean, organized house. As you begin to organize and spring clean in the coming months, you may find yourself left with a bagful of donations. I have discovered that many of my clients feel a real need to donate with purpose. No longer content to make one single drop off, they want alternative suggestions. If this is you, here are a few organizations that might pair up with your unwanted household items quite nicely.
- musicandmemory.org: Donate a working iPod or an unused iTunes gift card. Near and dear to my heart, this organization provides iPods for elderly patients in nursing homes suffering from Alzheimer’s and other conditions. A 2012 documentary about their work, entitled Alive Inside: The Story of Music and Memory, generated widespread support for their organization. Spoiler alert–it’s a tear jerker.
- fitnessforcharity.org: If you are the original owner of exercise equipment gathering dust in your garage or basement, let Fitness for Charity match up your fitness equipment donation with a school, nursing home, fire station, or hospital in the area. Fitness for Charity does not warehouse the equipment. Donors are contacted when a local recipient has been found.
- zealousgood.com: A Chicago based company that connects people with excess goods to local charities in need. Zealous Goods will tell you which organizations need your items and you then get to choose the recipient/schedule the donation. Sounds pretty good to me.
- lovinghugs.org: Donate new or “very gently used” stuffed animals. Loving Hugs sends your unwanted stuffed animals to children in war zones, orphanages and other places in need.
- dressforsuccess.org: Females–Are you ready to part with any professional clothing/accessories suitable for an interview setting? Help a disadvantaged woman look her best as she re-enters the workforce. The Chicago affiliate has two upcoming drop-offs: Saturday, March 9th and Saturday, April 13th from 10:00 AM-2:00 PM at 435 N. LaSalle St. (Lower Level), Chicago, IL 60654, 312-836-9070.
One word of caution. Don’t micro-manage the donation process. Try to discern whether your personal need to find a “specific home” for a donation is really just an unwillingness to part with an item and a justification for holding onto it for a longer period of time. If this is you, it might be best to donate all your items to one larger organization such as Goodwill Industries or The Salvation Army. You can feel just as good about your donation and make sure the items actually leave your house.