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Getting and Giving: How The Items You Replace This Christmas Can Help Others

Help others by donating your old clothes, appliances, and participate in our Ohio car donation program

With Christmas just behind us, you may have found yourself on the receiving end of some brand new stuff (if you’ve been good). Every year, many of us happily accept new clothes, gadgets, and household items as gifts from our friends and relatives. But what happens to all of the old items that your new goodies are replacing?

Consider adopting the ‘one-in, one-out’ philosophy. Essentially, for every new item you receive, give away the old item that’s being replaced. In addition to being a great method for decluttering your house, it’s also a fantastic way to donate your used goods to those in need.

What to donate

Christmas is a time of family and togetherness, but it’s important not to forget about those who are less fortunate. Here are some common items you might have replaced with new items this year that would be better served as donations rather than in a crawlspace or in the trash:

Clothes - If you got new clothes, you probably have some older ones that will be relegated to the back of the closet. However, unless they have sentimental value, consider freeing up that space by donating your old threads. After all, last year’s Christmas sweater could be someone else’s protection against the winter cold.

Toys - If you have kids, and you notice that their old playthings haven’t left the toybox after the arrival of their most recent round of Christmas goodies, donate them to a local charity instead of putting them in the basement.

Shoes - When you get new shoes or boots, you might think about throwing your last pair away. However, if they’re in fair condition and devoid of any major damage (such as holes or tears), you can donate them to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

Jackets, scarves, gloves, and outerwear - After getting a new winter wardrobe, it’s easy to pack up your old winter clothes and just toss them in the attic to free up closet space. However, rather than just collecting dust, your old jackets could be warming up those in need.

Appliances - If you get a new household appliance, such as a toaster, blender, iron, or microwave, don’t throw away your old one if it’s still working. There are plenty of people in social recovery programs attempting to get back on their feet could use them to furnish their new apartments.

Vehicles - How often do you see a vehicle sitting on the side of the road for weeks with the words ‘for sale’ painted on the windows? How many friends do you have who are hanging onto an old car that they keep intending to fix up, but never have the time? While these vehicles are just sitting around collecting rust, they could be helping fund our social programs, supportive housing, and community services via our Ohio car donation program.

If you or someone you know has an unused vehicle that’s just taking up space, please consider donating it to Volunteers of America. Cars, trucks, motorcycles--we’ll take almost anything with a motor, and we can arrange free same day towing to pick it up. Additionally, some vehicles could be worth more as a tax deductible donation than they would be if sold privately.

Remember, all of your donations will go towards helping homeless individuals, families, and veterans in all of the Ohio counties we serve.