Ways to donate unsold yard sale items

All these items rescued from curbside garbage and re-sold.

The yard sale is over and you still have all this stuff.  Now what?  Yes you can drive your boxes to the local resale shop, you can call someone to pick it up, you can even leave it curbside for garbage day, but did you know there are ways you can donate directly to local non-profits, churches, school, daycares, etc.?

Most of the following donation information is local to our area, but you could find similar organizations in your own town.

What to do with all the unsold items. 

1.   Bingo prizes, there are several organizations that play bingo with their senior residents or clients and are always looking for bingo prize donations. I took mine to Whispering Pines (click) and  MENTAL HEALTH AMERICA OF PORTER COUNTY (219) 462-6267 

Some sample ideas: Nick-Nacks, picture frames, small seasonal decorations, nail polish, stuffed animals, costume jewelry, scarves, slipper socks, coffee mugs, and many many more.  Keep in mind that many of the residents rooms are small so smaller items are preferable. (no candles please because of fire hazard). The reason the nursing homes like stuffed animals is because the residents love to give them to their grandchildren when they come to visit.  Remember it is not easy for them to get out and shop any longer.

2.  Cut the buttons off of stained clothing items, buttons are a premium craft item for local school, churches and other organizations

3.  Take apart that worn-out wreath and use the ribbon, flowers, ornaments as individual craft items to donate

4.  Children’s game and toys that still have all their pieces can be donated to places like the Boy’s & Girls Club (click) or daycares.

5.  Self help books might be accepted by local counseling centers or churches.

6.  Some children’s DVD’s are accepted by places like the Boys & Girls Club, Housing Opportunities, The Caring Place, Hilltop, etc. Call in advance to see if they can use the ones you have.

7.  If you by chance still have brand new items with tags after your sale, they can be donated to Mental Health American for the Christmas Gift Lift program.  They have hundreds and hundreds of people in need at Christmas.

8.  Old towels, blankets and flat sheets can be donated to the animal shelters in your area as well as pet carriers and cages. I gave mine to Independent Cat Society (click).

9.  Broken costume jewelry is a prime craft items for many organizations.  The beads and jewels are used in children’s craft projects. I will be donating to Every Child Ministries. (click)

10.  Craft items are probably the most sought after items by many local organizations, churches and school.  All types of items, think creatively.

Popsicle sticks, ribbon pieces, buttons, beads, colorful paper, markers, crayons, glue, stickers, yarn, flowers, greeting cards,  etc. We gave ours to Tiny Tim’s Daycare.

11.  Many stuffed animals are good as new after a trip to the washing machine.   The Boy’s & Girls club might accept them if they are fresh and clean for the next child to enjoy.

12.  If you have new stuffed animals with tag, you can donate them to the “I Need a Hug” program. Contact the United Way of Porter Co. (click)

The “I Need a Hug” program was begun in 2004 by the Crusader softball team and evolved into a partnership with the United Way of Porter County.  The program collects new stuffed animals and places them in area elementary schools to give comfort to children going through difficult times.

13.  Tri Kappa has a used book collection every fall, so you can donate all those unsold books to them also. (click)

14.  Check your local paper and find an upcoming fundraiser yard sale and donate your left over items to them.

15.  You are better off taking clothing items to the resale shop or St Paul’s Clothing drop off.  Most organizations just don’t have room to store clothing.

These are just a few ways to help out other organizations in your area after your sale is over.  If you have other ideas to add to the list,  please comment below.

Have a wonder-filled day:

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  I have never had much interest in sports but I enjoy watching the Olympics.  I wonder why that is?

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. great tips – thanks! passing this on 🙂

  2. Wow. A stretch from your normal posts. Are you experimenting or is this a one time inspiration? You certainly have given your readers a ton of creative ideas to serve others. well done.

    • Jeff, my blog tag line is “whatever inspires me” and this does. I know I don’t have ONE focus for my blog but I feel blogging is a good way for people to know me in ways they may not have known before. So variety is the spice for now.

  3. Hey Donna, just saw you over at Mike’s place and I’ve been quietly and patiently waiting for more of your blog posts. I never want to be a pest, yet I sure do miss your posts. “Just saying”, as Mike would say.


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