Be choosy about what you throw away—your trash is often someone else's treasure. Here are some smart places to make donations.
Donate Your Business Clothes
- Donate gently worn men's suits and professional clothing to CareerGear. Not only do they redistribute clothes to men looking for work, they offer image consulting services and mentoring programs. Learn more about the items they need on their web site.
Live Well & Give Back
- Dressed for Success does the same for women: They gladly accept professional clothing donations to help disadvantaged women get back on their feet. The organization has grown worldwide. Click here to find a location near you.
Donate Household Items
- Although the Salvation Army has over 2,300 donation centers, you can also arrange to have your electronics, furniture, and other items picked up at your home. Call 1-800-SA-TRUCK to discuss what you have.
- Sales of donations to Goodwill help fund job training programs, employment placement services, and community-based programs for people who have disabilities and other challenges. Go to their locator to find a Goodwill donation drop-off near you.
Hand Over Your Cell Phone
- Cell Phones for Soldiers will happily accept your old cell phone. The organization provides troops with free calls home through the recycling of used mobile phones and monetary donations.
Donate Unwanted Eyeglasses
- LensCrafters is the founder of OneSight, a vision-care program that hand delivers prescription glasses to needy people around the world. Just bring your old glasses in to a local LensCrafter and they'll take care of the rest.
- How about turning your old sports shoes into gym floor tiling and playground surfacing. The Nike Reuse-A-Shoe program uses rubber, foam, and fabric from old sneakers to make different sports court material. Most U.S. Nike and Converse stores will accept your old kicks.
Donate a Car
- The Purple Heart Foundation makes donating a car easy. All proceeds from the sale of your car will generate funds for wounded veterans and their families. Plus, they'll tow your car away for free.
- The American Red Cross also hosts a car donation program, and they have hundreds of locations nationwide.
Ryan Homes Tip: If you're donating goods or money to a charity, visit CharityNavigator, an independent rating site. The Today show website also features a good article on how to make sure your donations are going to reputable organizations.