Donation standards

Published 7:00 am Friday, August 22, 2014

Unneeded items that have worn out their welcome in your home may still have some utility. Instead of tossing these pieces out, consider if any of the items might prove useful to someone else.

Donating unneeded items and clothing to charity frees up some much needed space around the house and provides for those less fortunate, but before donating certain items, prospective donors should take measures to ensure the items are worthy of being donated and in the best possible condition.

Start by sorting through excess or unused items in your closets and drawers, setting aside clothing that is no longer worn or doesn’t fit. Check for items that may be in poor shape or heavily stained. Some of these may be better off in the trash if their condition is so poor that they serve no use.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Keep in mind that sometimes all an old pair of shoes might need is a good polishing and new insoles. Business suits are another coveted item since they can often help those in need improve their appearance on job interviews.

To prevent allergy sensitivity with those receiving the new bundle of goods, wash clothing or linens beforehand in a fragrance-free detergent. 

Double-check all pockets and the inside of purses prior to donating to ensure that all personal effects have been removed. It can be challenging to recover lost items after they have been donated. 

Organizing similar items together reduces the workload of charity volunteers and employees. Separate non-clothing items from clothing. Workers have to sort through hundreds of donations each day, so taking a few moments to pack similar items together can save charities time and money.

Get familiar with the donation bins in your area, these will often be located outside of strip malls, schools, churches and thrift stores. Look for an organization that seems reputable and try to do a little research before making contributions.