Got Stuff You Don’t Need? Give it to Someone Who Does!
I was driving home from dinner with friends one evening several years ago with my then-2-year-old daughter in the back seat (she is now 15). As we passed the Sears store in Shoreline, she roused from her semi-sleep and begged: “Mommy, we go store!”
“No, honey, we don’t need anything,” I replied.
“We go store!” Said with a little more urgency.
“No, we don’t need anything,” I tried again. With that, my daughter let out a wail that would have been appropriate had a large stone dropped on her foot. It went on for several minutes.
Finally, exasperated, I asked her: “Maddy, what do you want at the store?”
Indignant, red-faced, my 2-year-old sputtered, “I…(hiccup)…want… (sniffle)...STUUUUUFFFFFFFF!”
In that moment, our daughter disappeared, replaced by a Consumer Monster, a Mothra with golden curls.
While this hilarious memory still causes both me and Maddy’s dad (and now Maddy, too) to laugh, when it happened it also caused us to rethink how much time we spent dragging our daughter around stores. It rankled the PC mother in me and forced us to consider the importance of reducing, reusing, recycling and taking the focus off consumption of “stuff” we didn’t need. Fifteen years later, my daughter and I are avid recyclers – purchasing clothes at second-hand stores to reduce industry waste and donating items we haven’t used or needed in a year to places that distribute good quality used items to families in need. We’ve pretty much got the lay of the land on where to donate.
So, where do you go when you are ready to send your gently used kid stuff back out into the world for another family’s use? Try this list of organizations that accept donations of new and gently-used items.
Schedule at Home Pick Up: If you’d like a local organization to come to your home and collect your donations of kids’ clothes, furnishings and other items, just log on to Donation Town (www.donationtown.org/ ) and follow the easy steps to find a group near you and schedule a pick up.
The Arc of King County
233 Sixth Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98109
When you support The Arc, you are ensuring that individuals with developmental disabilities are provided key services to thrive in our community. You are also enabling The Arc to advocate side-by-side with them for a better future. If you have home, kid or other items to donate, call the Arc or contact Mary Ann Arnone (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
1900 Rainier Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98144
The boutique provides free children's and maternity items such as clothing, shoes, diapers, toys, and equipment to families who are homeless. Among items needed: Car seats (must be no more than five years old), clothing sizes 5T-teens, school supplies, maternity clothing and nursing gear, bottles, sippy cups and pacifiers, blankets and bedding, bassinets, baby activity gyms, saucers, activity blankets, toddler walking and riding toys and any learning toys, parenting books, pajamas sizes 4T, 5T, 6-7, 8-10, boys’ pants size 4T. Baby Boutique accepts donations on Tuesday 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Wednesday thru Friday 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., second and fourth Saturday of the month 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Or call 206-902-4270 to set up an appointment. Due to limited space, the boutique cannot accept items larger than cribs or toddler beds.
Children’s Seattle Hospital Thrift Stores
For store locations for drop off, go online to:
The hospital’s stores accept gently used jewelry, clothing, furniture, collectibles, coins, linens, shoes and more. Donation drop offs in all stores are Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. No Sunday drop offs. For donation pick up, call 206-448-1233 or 1-800-219-4540. For vehicle donation, call 1-800-269-6814.
1510 N.W. Maple St.
Issaquah, WA 98027-8973
The Baby Corner takes cribs and car seats less than six years old and in good condition and other lightly used toys, clothes and baby equipment. Clothing wanted: Long pants for boys and girls in sizes 3 to 8, sweat pants and sweat shirts in sizes 3 to 10, tennis shoes in all sizes, socks and underwear for boys and girls in sizes 4-14, warm coats, gloves and mittens for boys and girls in sizes 3-14, pram suits and infant sweaters, blanket sleepers in size 3-6 and 6-9 months, kids’ clothes from newborn to size 14 (especially sizes 4-5), maternity clothes. Other items wanted: toys smaller than 11x17 inches, ExerSaucers, bouncy seats, play gyms that fold, baby and nursing gear, strollers and other furniture. Donations are accepted Monday 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday 9 to 11 a.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to noon.
Your donations of new and reusable items help fund Goodwill’s free job training and education programs for low-income and disadvantaged individuals in the community. Goodwill accepts all things for kids and family from clothing to furniture to kids’ toys and more.
Hopelink collects clothing, furnishings and other gently used goods to help families in need throughout King County. Hopelink’s Sno-Valley Center accepts clothing, shoes and bedding during regular business hours. The site does not accept clothing donations from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31. The organization also accepts gently used furnishings that are in excellent condition at various sites. Most needed are complete queen and twin beds, kitchen tables and chairs, dressers, small couches, lamps, small tables and bookshelves. Items should not have any tears or stains and should be structurally sound. Hopelink also partners with Volunteers of America for vehicle donation. If you have a car, boat or other vehicle you would like to donate (running or not), please call 1-877-CAR-4-VOA (1-877-227-4862). They will coordinate pick up of the vehicle and all paperwork. Mention Hopelink when calling. Hopelink centers are open 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and accept donations during business hours. Locations are as follows:
14812 Main St.
Bellevue, WA 98007
11011 120th Ave. N.E.
Kirkland, WA 98033
16225 N.E. 87th St.
Redmond, WA 98052
15809 Westminster Way N.
Shoreline, WA 98133
31957 E. Commercial St.
Carnation, WA 98014
(Starting Oct. 1 will be closed on Fridays)
National Council of Jewish Women
The council accepts furniture and household items for domestic violence survivors and their children. To schedule a donation pick up, call 425-558-1894, ext. 2 or e-mail the council at email@example.com.
Northwest Center accepts clothing and household items to support children and adults with disabilities. To schedule a donation pick up or to learn more about how to give to Northwest Center, visit the Center’s website.
167 Bellevue Square
Bellevue, WA 98004
The Thrift Shop accepts donations of new and gently-used small houseware items, quality clothing for the entire family, jewelry, collectables, accessories and books. Be sure your donations are clean, in good condition and saleable. Overlake Service League provides free clothing to those in need through Voucher and Gift Certificate Giving programs. Donations accepted during store hours: Monday through Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
1001 Broadway, Ste. 100
Seattle, WA 98122-4304
The Baby Corner takes donations to help families in need. Any lightly used children’s clothes and toys are very welcome, as well as formula or diapers. Make sure that all items are clean and in good condition. Not sure about an item? If you would purchase it from a thrift store for your own family, then it’s probably fine. Donations may be dropped off between 9:00 a.m. and noon, Monday through Friday, at the Baby Corner. Please ring the doorbell and wait for someone to answer; donations may not be left outside the door.
St. Vincent De Paul Council of Seattle/King County
5950 4th Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98108
From new clothes at the beginning of the school year to Christmas/holiday season assistance for needy families, St. Vincent de Paul volunteers help children and families with a variety of needs all year long. Often it’s the basics: rent, food and power. St. Vincent de Paul helps all in need regardless of creed. St. Vincent’s accepts all sorts of household goods, baby equipment, clothing and more. To see their list of accepted items, go to the website. Drop off locations/stores are listed below and donations are accepted during regular business hours. To schedule a pick up, call the organization’s dispatch office at 206-767-9975, option 1, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
13445 First Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98168
310 Central Ave. N.
Kent, WA 98032
2825 N.E. Sunset Blvd.
Renton, WA 98056