In 2013, Americans donated approximately $740.6 billion in monetary contributions and household items (4.2% more than the previous year, in 2012). While all charitable donations are encouraged, nearly all organizations need some items more than others. What items are most in-demand? What items will make the most difference when helping families in need?
What Foods Help Most?
Think about ease of use and nutrition. When donating canned goods, for example, contribute canned items with a simple, pop-top lid whenever possible. Food pantries and charities need canned meats, such as canned chicken, SPAM, beef, and turkey, most. Hearty soups (think “cream of tomato, mushroom, etc.” varieties) and stews, peanut butter, beans, rice, chili, macaroni and cheese, pasta, low-sugar cereals, and coffee and tea are some of the most food items to donate. Remember, most charities are unable to accept home-baked goods and any foods in glass containers.
The Best Clothing Donations
First of all, donating clothes — even if they are commonly donated — is better than not donating at all. More than 90% of clothes and fabric items in landfills are gently used and perfectly recyclable. Charitable clothing donations help families in need while also cutting down on this completely unnecessary waste.
If you are able, consider making charitable donations that are a little less obvious — or, in other words, are most needed. Charities always need unopened packages of socks and underwear. In cold fall and winter months, gently used hats, scarves, gloves, winter coats, and winter boots are greatly appreciated. Year-round, most charities need more clothes for young children — particularly infants, babies, and toddlers. Remember, if items to be donated are not new, always wash clothing and empty pockets before donating them.
Charities appreciate any and all donations — and all charitable donations are put to good use. Some items, however, are in high-demand, and that makes them particularly valuable and necessary, if you can spare them. Whenever possible, donate canned food items with pop-top lids; as for clothing, donate new, unopened packages of underwear as well as gently used baby clothes and winter clothing and accessories. See this link for more.