Wednesday, 16 December 2015

How to Make the Biggest Impact When Donating to Charity

The holiday season is the time for giving. Certain foods, second-hand clothes, furniture, and consumer electronics can all be donated to local charities.

Because the holidays are all about giving, most charities experience a marked increase in donations during the festive season. For those who wish to give to charitable organizations in their area, here's how to make the most impact out of your charitable actions.

Popular Charities

At last count, there were over one million charities and foundations in the U.S. Popular organizations that accept donations and volunteer hours include Rescue Mission, Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, Feed Our Vets, Give to Others, Vera Wang House, and Make a Wish. Some of these organizations may require a brief training session, but they are usually always looking for extra hands to help out year round. For those who are unable to make monetary contributions, volunteering is equally appreciated.

Donate It Or Dump It?

 In some instances, donations fall short of their generous intentions. Before giving to a charity, those wishing to spread the holiday cheer need to consider if their unwanted items will be beneficial to others. If you have any questions, we recommend reaching out to local organizations to see if they have any specific requests this holiday season.


At a time when one in four U.S. kids don't know where their next meal is coming from, food donations are always appreciated. Unfortunately, many households dump rather than donate unused food items. In fact, about 20 percent of what goes into local landfills is food. For obvious reasons, charities like food banks and pantries will not accept all food items. Donations that are always welcome include canned foods, bottled water, peanut butter, fruit juice boxes, dry pasta, bagged beans, boxed rice, oatmeal, and cooking oils.


 Contrary to popular belief, charities accept clothes in just about any condition. Because all textiles are sorted when they enter the system, chances are good they will eventually find a home, whether that's in the U.S. or abroad. For those interested in donating used apparel, most articles of clothing are sorely needed, but winter items such as jackets are in especially high demand.


Because beds, sofas, kitchen tables, and recliners are expensive, many low-income families cannot afford them. Like clothing, most charities will accept furniture that is in less than stellar condition. With that said, it is often best to avoid donating furniture that contains stained, soiled, or damaged fabrics. Broken furniture should be dumped rather than donated.


Most charitable organizations happily accept consumer electronics. Televisions, personal computers, mobile phones, and DVD players are always in high demand but are often dumped instead of donated. Even though e-waste represents about 2 percent of trash in America's landfills, it equals an astonishing 70 percent of overall toxic waste. With 20 to 50 million metric tons of e-waste thrown away worldwide every year, these items have an immeasurable impact on the environment. Even if they don't work, computers, cell phones, and other electronic products can be recycled by charities for parts. These parts can be resold and reused. If the device has no useable parts, it still may contain high amounts of precious materials. Americans, for example, dump phones containing over $60 million in gold and silver every year. Opting to donate these old electronics helps charities raise much-needed funds. This type of charitable action helps not only those less fortunate but also reduces the risk of environmental harm, helping to make the world a better place.

Consider making the lives of those in need a little brighter this holiday season by donating to charitable organizations.

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