Simple Service: Donate those items!

by Kelli

Service Project: Donate those items!

Prep time: None

Cost: Free

Duration: 15 minutes (not including drive time to deliver the donations)

Lessons Learned: Your unused items can continue to benefit others in need

How we did it:

Last week my daughter and I created a section in our garage to store items to be donated. Within a week we filled it up! Addison joined her daddy in going through his closet, pulling out items that were in good condition but that he never wore. I sat on the sidelines, holding my breath, hoping that he would donate a particular sweater vest that I always felt aged him ten years. Luck was with me because it made it into our donation bin!

Involving your child in this process is a great way to demonstrate how to select items for donation. Haven't worn those slacks in two years? Consider donating them so that someone else can benefit from them. Not sure why you bought that magenta top? Donate it. If your child sees that you can easily let go of clothing, they will be more successful in their attempts to go through their items.

Once your donation area is full, select a non-profit to donate it to. Goodwill has many convenient locations, however, there may be another local non-profit that donates more of their proceeds back into the community. A simple Google search and some quick research will help you select where to take your items. Non-profit donation centers have their own individual rules on what they will accept and the condition it needs to be in. As a general rule, items need to be in good or excellent condition to qualify for an tax write-off.

We selected a local, community-based, non-profit called Snowline Hospice. Snowline Hospice utilizes proceeds collected from their six thrift stores to help local individuals with serious, chronic illnesses and those reaching end of life. This particular non-profit has benefitted my extended family so it feels good to support the great work that this organization does.

Addison and I grabbed our donation bin from the garage. Addison kept yelling, "It's full! It's full!"

I asked Addison to help me sort the clothes into piles to make it easier to fill out our donation form (more on that later). Kind-of looks like we are doing laundry, huh?

Addison even got Bogie the dog involved in sorting the clothes!

1, 2, 3, 4....Addison helped me count how many men's shirts we were donating. We did this with each pile and logged everything that we planned on donating. We created our own donation log for this purpose. At a minimum, your log should include: Non-profit name, donation location, date of donation, items that were donated and condition of the items. You can also add your estimated value of each item that is being donated. It's not necessary to log the value of your items if you are using a tax software like Turbo Tax It's Deductible since it includes this valuation feature. If you don't use tax software, you can utilize the Donation Value Guide that the Salvation Army provides in order to assign your own valuation. 

We drove our donations down to the Snowline Hospice donation drop off center. Addison helped me load the clothes into their collection bin and we grabbed a donation receipt from the nice gentleman who was volunteering there. Boy, it feels good to donate to those in need!

Have fun involving your children in the entire donation process! It's sure to make them feel good inside to help others!

Kelli worked in the technology industry for 20 years before taking time off to raise her daughter. She has an 18 year old son and a 2 year old daughter that have taught her how to appreciate every moment with them, because it goes by so quickly! Kelli enjoys crafting, running, traveling and teaching her children how to make a positive impact on the world around them.