Yesterday’s post was all about treating yo’ self. Today, treat someone else.
I’ve been purging our apartment of items we don’t use anymore (or forgot I had) – clothes, books (gasp!), DVDs, conference swag, shoes, and bags – donating them straight to a local homeless shelter. Do I really need four “leather” portfolio folders for job interviews? No. Do I need to keep my old computer backpacks? Hell no. Those coats that don’t fit me anymore? They can keep someone else warm. (Today, I took 18 garbage bags filled with stuff to the shelter. 18. I’m not even done yet.)
So treat someone else. Donate your gently used items to someone in need.
Here are a few ways you can help, especially now when the weather is so shit-ious. (Maybe not in So Cal, but I know the East Coast is pretty f’d up.)
Donate to a Local Shelter
I literally Google’d “homeless shelter” and foundÂ AscenciaÂ a few miles away from me. When I first dropped off my first round of donations, the staff told me that their clients come by in the evening to rummage through donations and find things that fit them. I was relieved to hear this – that the clients would really be able to pick out whatever they wanted.
One of the largest shelters is LA Mission and they also take donations of clothing and other items. Make sure you check your shelters’ lists so you’re not packing stuff they don’t need.Â The Downtown Women’s Center will also take products and clothing. You know that gently-worn suit that doesn’t fit you anymore? Why not donate it to someone who may need it for a job interview?
I also know some of you take all those toiletries from hotels. I’m guilty of it. Are you really using them or just hoarding them? If you’re hoarding them, why not donate those too? You don’t need 10 mini bottles of shampoo, do you?
If you live closer to the Eastside, House of Ruth could use a lot of items. I’ve had personal experience with them and they’re a much-needed organization. They help survivors (women and children) of domestic violence in the Claremont/Pomona area.
Donate or E-cycle Your Items and Create a Job
That old laptop that’s been sitting there? Donate it! Be sure to wipe the hard drive first. Last year, I met the woman who founded Isidore Electronics Recycling, located here in LA. There’s a drop off location east of Chinatown or you can schedule a pick-up. For every 50,000 pounds of e-waste they collect, they can create a new job for someone. That someone is usually a formerly incarcerated person. If you’re like me and a fan of the triple bottom line, consider dropping off your electronics here and do some good.
Not everyone is fortunate enough to own a cell phone. Since y’all are reading this blog on your smartphone, how about donating your old cell phones to a shelter or organization? In this case, we’re talking domestic violence survivors. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence will accept your phones, refurbish them, and resell them to support their programs.
Elder abuse is a rising problem. WTF. Why do assholes always abuse the weak? Oh right, because they’re assholes. You can find a Secure the Call donation barrel here and drop off your old cell phone:Â http://www.securethecall.org/find-a-barrel/
If you Google “donate cell phone shelter,” you’ll find other organizations in your area that will also take your old phones and recycle them or give them to someone in need. Be sure to wipe the data!!
How Will You “Gift” This Week?
Do you have a few nonprofit organizations that you donate to? Let me know so I can add it to my list!