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Charity Donations That Come From Your Closet, Not Your Wallet

Updated on October 29, 2017
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Cindy is an expert at living on a shoestring budge having learned how to be frugal, find deals and earn a little extra cash online.

It's that time of year again and donation requests are sure to start filling up your mailbox. Local charities need your help, especially during the long, cold winter months. But if you’re struggling yourself and short on cash there are many other ways to help them out. Did you know that there are many non-cash items needed too? Even donating your time can be a big help.

Lots of animal shelters, soup kitchens, thrift stores and food pantries rely on donations to get by. Here are some ways to help when you have little or no money to spend:


Animal shelters can always use old towels, sheets, blankets and other linens. They need to bathe our furry friends and sometimes they use it as bedding for the pets who would otherwise be lying on a cold cement floor. They could also use shampoo, hand sanitizer, paper towels, Bleach, dog and cat food and treats to help with cleaning, feeding and bathing.

Thrift stores will welcome clothing, bedding, kitchenware, jewelry, shoes and even old knick-knacks. They sell these items to support their own or other programs and charities.

Homeless shelters are always in need of season appropriate clothing, socks, underwear, toiletries and feminine hygeine products. In the winter months especially, they could use gloves, scarfs, hats, sweaters and jackets.

Food pantries welcome non-perishable food and toiletries. A large population of our fellow feminine hygeine productshuman beings rely on food pantries to feed their families. Food items such as pasta, pasta sauce, cereal, oatmeal, bread, beans and rice will go a long way. Toiletries such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, soap, toilet paper and more are often given away here…when they’re available.


*When you see buy 1 get 1 free offers, purchase and donate the extra one.

*Have a coupon for a free item? Pick it up and donate it. In fact, donate the coupons you don’t use to a charity as well!

*Clearance items are sometimes a great way to pick up donations. Often toiletries, paper plates, disposable cups and other household items are sold at discounts too low to pass up . If you don’t need to stock up on a clearance item yourself, invest a few dollars and donate it.


Donate your time. A few hours a week to help stock shelves in a food pantry, sort through donations at a thrift store, walk and give companionship to pets in a shelter, offer to help raise funds by telephone or keep an elderly person company for an hour. It is an invaluable way to give of yourself. It helps out the charity and is a rewarding experience for you.

One last thing...

Please don't donate dirty, broken or otherwise unusable items. Make sure clothing is for the right season and food items are not expired. For more information on donating and to find a charity near you, visit


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