Where to bring your stuff | 5 tips & places for a meaningful in-kind donation
Every one of us has things lying around at home that are no longer needed. Be it clothes that we haven’t worn for ages, books that are just decoration on the shelf or games that are forgotten in drawers. There are many organisations that could really use these things and are happy to receive a meaningful in-kind donation. However, there are a few things to keep in mind, because not every donation is equally helpful. We give you a few simple tips to make the organisations and recipients really happy with your donated items.
Find meaningful in-kind donation opportunities in your city
In every larger city there are local collection points for in-kind donations, which distribute the items to people in need. You should be sceptical about clothing containers at first. Some of them ship the clothes to other countries and sell them here, not donate them. If in doubt, find out beforehand which company is behind it.
In order to find local organisations for your in-kind donation, a simple online search will help in most cases. There are very good online overviews of where you can drop off your donations – be it books, clothes, electrical appliances or even hygiene products. Here are a few selected overviews:
Do you have a specific item and want to find out where you can donate it? Then wohindamit.org is the right site for you. Here you enter the type of donation and your address/location and you will be shown a map with acceptance points. You want to get rid of used furniture? Then take a look at weitergeben.org. The organisation arranges (larger) furniture donations to social organisations. You can also find a wide variety of donation options to social organisations throughout Germany on our in-kind donation page at vostel.de (you need to be logged in to see the donation requests).
Find out beforehand what is really needed
Although it is of course a nice side effect of an in-kind donation that you clean out your wardrobe and create order in your four walls, it should be all about what is really needed at the organisations. Therefore, be sure to take a look at the respective needs lists on the donation page before you set off. This will save the (often volunteer) staff on site a lot of work and saves you extra effort when you have to take things home again.
Only pass on in-kind donations that you would accept yourself
Make sure that your donations are clean and in good condition – whether it’s clothes, electrical appliances or books. You should always wash your clothes before handing them in and, if possible, fold them. Dishes, electrical appliances or toys should be cleaned beforehand. This saves the staff on site extra work and increases the likelihood that your things will find new happy owners. Just imagine that you are giving the items to a friend.
In-kind donations can also be new
Hygiene products or underwear are just as urgently needed by people in need as other meaningful in-kind donations. However, these must be unused – after all, no one wants to brush their teeth with a used brush. This means that before your next shopping trip, you can simply check the needs lists to see what new things are needed. When you go shopping, just throw the items in the trolley and drop them off or send them by post to the donation centre. The people who receive the donation will be very happy!
Sometimes a monetary donation even makes more sense
Donating in kind is not always the best option, especially if a large number of certain items are needed. For organisations, in-kind donations also mean logistical effort, tie up staff and require storage space, which is now very expensive, especially in cities. It can therefore sometimes make more sense to donate money to an organisation instead of things. This way, the organisation can purchase the required goods in a targeted manner (and on site). Take a look at the organisation’s website to find out how you can best support them.
Your vostel.de team wishes you a pleasant donation!
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