We took a major blow to our donation options in Toronto this past month. All Goodwill stores unexpectedly shut their doors January 17 due to a cash flow crisis. Although I have many personal feelings about the mismanagement of the organization and the absolute lack of foresight on the ripple effect it will have on their workers and the larger community, this blog post will focus on where you can now donate items in the wake of 16 Goodwill stores across the City closing.
A lot of my clients felt good about donating items to Goodwill knowing it was funding a good cause. The options below are also wonderful causes and although the locations might not be as convenient, I encourage you to branch out and donate instead simply throwing items away.
Let’s start with convenience. There are several donation options that will PICK UP from your home.
Donation Pick up Services in Toronto
Canadian Diabetes Association
This free service will pick items up from your home and take them to Value Village. The Association makes money by selling the items to Value Village in turn helping to fund life saving research and other programs. The same type of items you would take to Goodwill: books, clothing, kitchen items, blankets, shoes, yarn… As a bonus between now and Mach 30, 2015 donate items and you will be entered into a drawing for a $5,000 travel gift card or one of 10 $500 Visa gift cards – bonus! But really, it’s all about giving and with this option it couldn’t get any easier. Click here to set up your next donation online.
Ontario Federation of Cerebral Palsy
Similar to Diabetes Association OFCP will pick up items from your home and take them to Value Village, selling them to help fund research and other programs. They also take the same type of items you would drop at a Goodwill store – did I mention they pick up? Click here to set up your next donation online.
Oasis Clothing Bank
Do you have a minimum of three large garbage bags of donation items? Oasis clothing Bank will pick up from your house too! Don’t let the name fool you, they will take most items that Goodwill would take as well. For more information about what they accept Click Here. Items donated to Oasis go directly to individuals in the Oasis Addiction Recovery who cannot otherwise afford basic necessities or sold to partly fund programs offered. Another wonderful opportunity to enrich your community and get rid of stuff you no longer need. Call, (416) 751-0553 to set up your next donation.
This service is a bit different from Goodwill in several ways. First, they take many items that Goodwill would not take. Larger furniture items, unstained mattresses, larger TV’s etc. However, there is a cost for this service. Pick up generally starts around $100, however they will donate furniture directly to those in need, including refugees recently arriving to the Country and they provide a tax receipt. Click Here to set up your next donation.
Drop Off Donation Options in Toronto
Value Village & Salvations Army
Two of the most obvious choices are Value Village and Salvation Army. These organizations, similar to Goodwill provide a donation option for all the odds and ends you no longer use. If you donated it at Goodwill, you can donate it at one of these two options. Click Here for Value Village locations enter your postal code and it will direct you to the closets location. Click Here for Salvation Army locations On a side note Salvation Army offers pick up for larger furniture items as well. Call their donation pick up line at 1-888-333-1229 for more information.
380 Ossington Ave.
This is a program ran by the Toronto District School Board to support teachers and students that are working on art projects. You can donate anything from beads and glue sticks to pieces of string and felt. For a full listing of what they need please click on the link below:
Click here for more information
Children’s Book Bank
350 Berkeley Street
(Gerrard Street & Parliament)
This is a wonderful charity donating books to Children in low income areas. You can drop off books and ever run your own book drive at your child’s school or in your neighborhood. Since opening their doors in 2008 the Children’s book bank has donated over 400,000 books to local children who might not have access to books otherwise.
Click Here for hours of operation and donation times
This is an amazing charity providing affordable and accessible educational materials to students both locally and abroad. With textbook donations you are providing educational materials to post-secondary institutions in Africa as well as micro-loans from the sale of donated textbooks in North America. This organization is doing amazing things and with several drop box locations throughout the GTA shedding the weight of your old text books couldn’t be easier and for such an amazing cause.
Click Here for more information
Trinity College Book Sale
This is a yearly book sale Trinity College puts on to raise funds every year. They collect books year round and will even pick them up if you call the number above. The sale is in the Fall usually, but don’t hesitate to call any time of year, they are always happy to accept donations. Sometimes as the sale approaches they have to turn down donations until they begin collecting for the next sale due to space restraints so don’t forget to call and check before making the trek downtown. Click on the link below for more information:
Click here for more information
Dress for Success
188 Lowther Avenue, 3rd Floor
Giving Women entering or reentering the workforce confidence they need to succeed- hence, Dress for Success! Please note all items donated must be clean, modern, within the last five years and in good shape, no holes or tears. Also, they accept unopened toiletries and hosiery. The Toronto location accepts donations on Tuesdays between 10:00-4:00.
Personal Care Items (travel toiletries!)
Sistering Day Shelter
962 Bloor Street West
This is a woman’s day shelter, particularly for women who find themselves in abusive homes. It is a place of empowerment and protection. They are always looking for items for them woman especially, any toiletry or personal care items, makeup, jewelry etc. This is a great place to donate all of those travel size toiletry items you’ve taken from hotels for years and don’t know what to do with now. Click on the link below for more information:
Click here for more information
This is simply a start. There are so many worth organizations throughout the City waiting for your generous donations to help those in your community. For a more complete list check out my page, Where to Donate Stuff. Sometimes it’s as simple as filling out an online form or making a phone call and some require a drop off, but just because the most recognizable name in household donation is no longer an option doesn’t mean you are out of options. Do you have a favorite charity that isn’t on my site. Let me know, I would love to add them!
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