What can I do to make sure my donations are helping?

Be careful what you donate

A broken doll, an old shower head and floppy disks.

These are examples of what some people donate to thrift stores. The problem? The items can’t be resold and adds to the organizations trash pile.

Goodwill runs on donations, as it provides a variety of services such as job training for people with disabilities or specialized needs. But when people drop off things the non-profit cannot sell, it hurts their bottom line.

Sometimes, people will go as far as to drop off items after hours. Surveillance cameras caught one person dumping off a used mattress, something Goodwill does not accept.

Volunteers at St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store in Cape Coral say they have similar waste woes. Sometimes couches, or parts of them, are ditched outside the store.

What bad donations cost

Goodwill of Southwest Florida says last year, their trash bill was $7,000 over budget.

St. Vincent de Paul told WINK News it increased the size of their dumpster and how often it is emptied. Between October 2018-January 2019, they spent an extra $1,000 on trash.

In addition to cash, bad donations also take up resources and storage space.

What can I donate?

Donation centers accept gently used and smoke-free furniture, clothing, toys and sporting goods, along with home decor.

But there are some things these donation centers do not take. These can include tube TV’s, heavy entertainment centers, food and car seats.

For more information, here is a full list of who will take what at these donation centers:

Reporter:Allison Gormly
Writer:Michael Mora
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