Are you over the ugly Christmas sweater fad? Did you receive a few gifts during the holidays that aren’t, um, exactly your taste? Or did you treat yourself to some new clothes, a new phone, or maybe 1000 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets? Still feeling that Christmas spirit and want to pay your good fortune forward?
Before throwing away unwanted gifts or used stuff that you’ve replaced, and before dropping them off at Goodwill, take a look at these local organizations that could really use your hand-me-downs and throw-aways.
Each organization is in need of specific items and you can choose a charity that serves a group close to your heart, such as animals, the homeless, domestic violence survivors or children.
Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County
Help out some furry friends by donating much needed items to the Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County. Although the shelter is always in need of cat food and clay cat litter, it is also in need of many items that you may replace or be gifted during the holidays, such as used or new towels, extra large “Kong” brand stuff-able toys, new or used collars and leashes, scratch and stretch boxes, Tru Catch traps for the trap/neuter/return program, and black wire pet cages (check website for sizes). Drop off Fluffy and Fido’s old gear at 2608 Center Street between 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays.
Many domestic violence survivors often find themselves needing to replace everything they own. The YWCA helps many of these women, as well as other women who find themselves in desperate situations. The organization accepts and distributes the following items year round: new socks, undergarments, and pajamas; new bedding (twin sized preferred) and pillows; diapers and baby wipes (sizes 4, 5 and 6 greatly needed); new car seats and strollers; full-sized toiletries; used cell phones (with or without chargers), and $25 gift cards for Safeway and Fred Meyer. For the safety of the women in the program, donations should not be dropped off at the shelter, but rather at its administration offices which are located at 405 Broadway, Tacoma, and open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If you have any questions please call 253-272-4181 ext. 264.
Tacoma Rescue Mission
Homelessness is a huge problem in Pierce County, not to mention the entire state. Many men, women, and children go without basic necessities like food, clothing, and shelter. The Tacoma Rescue Mission tries to alleviate this problem for individuals and families. You would be surprised at how much your unwanted items might mean to a person in need. The organization accepts donations of food, clothing, toiletries, and toys all year long. If you’d like, you can even form a neighborhood drive and the Mission will provide barrels and posters and even a truck to pick up your group’s donations. If you are interested in hosting a drive, fill out this form on the website. If you want to donate items from your individual household, you can drop them off at the Tacoma Rescue Mission’s downtown campus at 425 South Tacoma Way between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on weekdays or on Saturdays between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Tacoma/PC Habitat for Humanity
Maybe you had your kitchen or porch remodeled since you were so good all year long and you find yourself with a lot of unneeded building materials, fixtures, paint and other assorted items. Despair no more. Habitat for Humanity will help you clean out that garage—well, figuratively at least. Donate your gently used building materials, furniture, appliances and hardware so that financially limited people can redo their homes with highly discounted items. Drop off donations at Habitat for Humanity locations in Tacoma, Lakewood and Puyallup or arrange a pick-up with Habitat’s online schedular. The organization is in need of cabinets, sinks, doors, appliances and more. Visit the website or call Community Outreach Coordinator Kathy Horton at 253-627-5626 at extension 124 for more information and donation drop off locations.
Bikes for Kids
This organization provides bicycles for children—and even adults—who need them. It accepts bikes in almost any condition because its repair people can use broken bicycles for parts. So if you and your family received new mountain bikes from Santa this year, why not donate your old ones to Bikes for Kids? The organization even offers several locations for donation drop offs, including the Hilltop and Dash Point in Tacoma, Fircrest and Federal Way. For information on donation drop off locations and hours, contact Don Cowan at 253-839-9586 or firstname.lastname@example.org.