Oftentimes, when downsizing or managing an estate, you need to donate items. Knowing where to donate what items requires some research. Based on our experience working in the Greater Toronto Area, below is a helpful list of donation options to consider.
- Donation Boxes - Several organizations have donation boxes around the city for gently used clothing, shoes and housewares i.e. Diabetes Canada Clothesline, OASIS Clothing Bank, and Children’s Wish Foundation to name a couple. Check with the organizations for their donation box locations.
- Diabetes Clothesline - Diabetes Canada will accept a variety of goods. Some they will pick-up, while others they would like you to drop off at the bins, as discussed above. Visit this link to learn more.
- Value Village Donation Centres - These centres will take gently used clothing, housewares, and some furniture. Call ahead before dropping large items off to ensure that they will take them.
- Furniture Bank - Located in Etobicoke, serving new immigrants and people rebuilding after difficult life events, they will take most types of furniture, small appliances, televisions with screens 37 inches or less, bed frames and unstained mattresses. You pay for pick-up and delivery service, which is a social-purpose enterprise that employs people with limited job opportunities and helps fund the group’s services. Furniture Bank will provide charitable tax receipts for certain donations.
- Salvation Army Thrift Stores - These stores will take clothing, accessories, books, records, CDs, toys, sports equipment, dishes and utensils, pots and pans, lamps, working electronics including MP3s, TVs, DVD players and VCRs. Some donation centres also accept furniture.
- Habitat for Humanity - This organization will accept windows, doors, large working appliances such as refrigerators and stoves, kitchen cabinets, sinks, toilets, bathroom vanities, lighting fixtures. There are multiple locations around the GTA so contact them directly for more details.
- OASIS Clothing Bank - This organization accepts clothing, shoes, linens that can be dropped off at OASIS boxes around the city. Bicycles, books, computers, exercise equipment, small appliances and furniture, sporting goods, stereos, toys, tools can be picked-up free at your home.
- New Circles - New Circles offers new and gently used clothing to Toronto’s low-income families and new immigrants, with a focus on residents of Flemingdon Park, Thorncliffe Park and Victoria Village. They also have a prom boutique program for high school students, which provides a great way to pass on gently used formal wear.
- Woodgreen Red Door Family Shelter - This shelter is looking for table and chair sets, side boards, dressers, night tables, desks, shelving units, coffee and end tables.
- Second Life Books - Will come and collect gently used books free of charge.
- Dress Your Best - Accepts gently used men’s business apparel appropriate for job interviews and employment. The goal of the organization is to empower men to succeed by enabling them to deliver a confident impression when seeking employment.
- Dress for Success - Accepts gently used women’s professional attire in order to empower women to achieve economic independence and to help women thrive in work and in life.
Some useful donation related tips include:
- Confirm pick-up/drop off details - Some organizations will pick-up for free or for a fee of a couple hundred dollars, while others will require you to drop off your donations to their location or a donation box. Even if the organizations pick-up, they may require you to get the items to an accessible place in your home i.e. garage etc., and sometimes the pick-ups need to be booked well in advance. So if you’re on a tight timeline for removing contents from a property, be aware of this.
- Furniture drop-off scheduling - When you plan to drop off larger furniture, call ahead as some organizations will want you to pre-book a time for drop-off.
- Charitable tax receipts - Some organizations will offer these for your donations. Ask ahead of time if this is important to you.