Wednesday, November 26

WFMW: Unique Donations

It's that time of year again. That's right, this week we're heading into Junk Mail Season. As the daughter of a self-proclaimed "junk mail writer," I can get pretty cynical about charitable contributions. It's always easier, in my mind, just to write out a check than to really consider how we can serve others.

This year, since checks are a bit scarce at our house, I've been trying to consider what we can give. In addition to volunteering (and there are many, many fine organizations that could use our time and energy), I wanted to see if there was any way to use some of our clutter to make the holidays a little better for someone else.

During an afternoon visit with my friend Google, we compiled this list of things you may not realize you can donate to a good cause.
  • DVDs
    • DVDs4Vets coordinates the donation of new and used DVDs and portable DVD players to veterans hospitals throughout the US. Visit or contact your local VA hospital.
    • KidFlicks supplies DVDs to children's hospitals nationwide. Visit or contact your local pediatric unit.
  • Professional Clothing
  • Dress for Success (for women) and Career Gear (for men) specialize in providing business suits and interview clothing for those who are trying to get back on their feet. Visit or or contact your local homeless shelter.
  • Cell Phones
  • Call To Protect refurbishes phones for survivors of domestic violence. Visit or contact your local women's shelter.
  • Hair
  • Wigs for Kids and Locks of Love create hairpieces for children who have lost their hair and cannot afford the cost of a custom human-hair wig. Visit or or contact your local salon.
  • Airline Miles
    • Hero Miles provides airline miles to injured military personnel undergoing medical treatment and families. Visit
    • Miracle Flights for Kids flies sick children to medical centers around the country for surgery or therapy. Visit
    • Many other organizations also accept donated miles, contact your favorite charity or your airline directly for more information.
  • Books
    • Books for Africa is working to end poverty in many African nations by providing textbooks and other reading material to enhance the educational systems in impoverished areas. Visit
    • Prison Book Program helps to provide books and educational resources to prisoners. Visit
    • You can also check with your local library to see if they are accepting book donations or for additional organizations that can put your books to good use.
  • Shoes
  • Soles4Souls distributes new and used footwear to those in need around the world. Visit or contact your local shoe store.
  • Coupons
    • Overseas Coupon Program volunteers mail coupons (even expired ones!) for use on military bases around the world. Visit
    • Food pantries, homeless shelters, and anti-cruelty societies also may accept donated coupons. Check with those near you to find out their policies.
  • Other Stuff
    • Churches, preschools, and daycare centers often collect household items for use in craft projects. Contact those in your area to see what they might be able to use.
    • Homeless shelters will often accept hotel or trial-size personal care products. Check with your local shelter for their donation guidelines.
    • Animal shelters often take worn towels and bedding items. Contact shelters in your area to see what they can use.
If anybody else has some great ideas to donate items that might otherwise be wasting valuable storage space or find their way into a landfill, be sure to leave them in the comments.

For more great ideas, tips, and tricks, visit Works for Me Wednesday at Rocks in My Dryer.


  1. Oh, I love this : )! Thank you for sharing all of these GREAT ways people can donate at Christmas time. Beautiful!

  2. I love all these ideas - so many I didn't know about. I am a major coupon gal and throw away so many expired ones every month. I am going to try and start sending them on.


  3. Thank you so much for sharing this! I have a bunch of DVDs that we can give away and I'm checkign out what else we can give. :D

    Have a great Thanksgiving!

  4. These are great ideas. I just moved into a new house and have been going through things to get rid of...and many DVD's, books, etc...were among them. I never thought of these ways of giving.


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