In addition to causing a global health crisis, coronavirus has put a damper on countless activities that brought joy to our lives. Not only have entertainment and travel plans been impacted, so have the most selfless of our pursuits. Although many of us still have the desire to donate necessities to our favorite organizations, the threat of contracting COVID-19 has left us wondering whether it’s safe. If you’ve found yourself in this position, there’s no need to worry any longer. Here are three ways to donate clothes and household items while prioritizing your health.
- No-Contact Pickups
There are a myriad of foundations, charities, and clothing centers across the nation that work tirelessly to provide goods to people in need. Thankfully, many of them have always offered pick-up services for their donors’ convenience. Now that the threat of coronavirus transmission has spiked, no-contact pickups are one of the easiest and safest ways to make sure that your donations still reach the proper channels.
To start, be mindful and make sure that you have a reasonable number of items to donate. Resources like gas and volunteers are limited, so it’s considerate to ensure that your donation is worth their effort. Next, look online to find a charity that aligns with a cause that is near and dear to your heart. Check out their website to learn whether they offer scheduled pick-ups for the type of items you are gifting. If there isn’t an online form to help you complete your request, give the organization a call to get your pick-up scheduled. Lastly, on the morning of your donation, have your boxes labeled and waiting near the curb of your residence.
- No-Contact Drop-Offs
Before coronavirus forced thrift stores to change their policies, companies like Goodwill and Savers relied on employee supervised drops offs. Typically, workers would help people unload things from their cars while inspecting the items to ensure they were acceptable. Consequently, at the beginning of the pandemic, donation centers closed completely. Now, they’ve reopened with no-contact measures that match recommendations given by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
To guarantee safety, new procedures include:
- Self-serve donation drop-offs
- Stipulations that employees retrieve items from your trunk
- Donation handlers will wear personal protective equipment
- Sanitizing donated items
If you’d prefer to drop-off your things at a less-frequented location, many organizations have stand-alone donation bins in the parking lots of shopping centers. Google can help you pinpoint exact locations by searching for “donation bins near me”.
- Post Free Items
If you’re a fan of sites like Facebook Marketplace, Letgo, and OfferUp, you can post your donation items as free listings. While the process is a bit more tedious than other donation methods, you have more control over who gets your items. COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on families from all walks of life, and many people have found themselves in positions they never imagined being in. Your generous donation could reach people who can’t afford to pay for items at stores like Goodwill, but also don’t qualify for free donations from shelters.
All you have to do is post pictures and details about the things you want to donate, then mark the price at zero. Some sites even have a dedicated free section to make things easier. You can decide whether you want to donate items in groups, or individually. But before you post, consider whether you want to drop off the items yourself or have the recipient pick them up from a safe location. Lastly, remember to remove your post as soon as the items have been claimed so you won’t continue to receive inquiries about the donations you’ve already gifted.
Although you may have to wait a while longer to attend a concert in person or watch your favorite sports team play, with these three safety measures, you don’t need to wait to donate. Coronavirus has brought many activities to a halt, but it hasn’t stopped people’s need for donated goods. So go ahead and fill a few boxes with gently used items and let your giving heart lead the way.