For many of us, spring break means spring cleaning! It can be easier to part with items you no longer need when you know someone can put them to good use. Student Life’s office of Civic Engagement and Service created this guide to help you divert items from our landfills by donating to a local non-profit. Processing donations requires time and resources, so always be sure what you’re donating can be useful by reaching out to the organization.
Gently used clothing/household items: Your gently used clothing and household items can support local shelters or thrift stores. Check with shelters such as GRACE Marketplace, St. Francis House, and Peaceful Paths for a list of specific needs. Local non-profit thrift stores will resell your donations to support their mission. SF’s on-campus thrift store Saints Share Wear accepts gently used clothing and accessories, and proceeds support scholarships for Career Service employees.
Books, games, and other media: The Friends of the Library accepts more than just books! You can donate any printed material, art work, CDs/DVDs, audio tapes, records, puzzles, games, and computer software. Their next community-wide sale is April 22-26!
Arts and craft supplies: The Repurpose Project accepts just about anything that can be – you guessed it – repurposed! Check their website for a full list of what they accept. Days for Girls International can also use sewing supplies, working sewing machines and sergers to create sustainable menstrual hygiene kits.
Furniture: Reuse Planet accepts used furniture and other household goods, and they can help arrange pickup for larger items.
Fitness and recreation equipment: The YMCA of North Central Florida provides a safe, nurturing environment for our community to stay active, be engaged, and learn positive values. They accept donations of gently used fitness and recreation equipment.
Bicycles: GRACE Marketplace is a one-stop homeless resource center serving Gainesville and Alachua County. They accept working bicycles and bicycle accessories to help clients with their commute. Check out their full wishlist here.
Items for children: The Child Advocacy Center provides trauma-informed services to help children in need. They accept gently used clothing, toys, household items, and school supplies. They cannot accept cribs/pack-and-plays, car seats, helmets, medical devices, swimsuits, leotards, or undergarments for health and safety reasons.
Musical instruments: Gainesville Girls Rock Camp uses music to teach empowerment and self-expression to local youth. They can put your working instruments (in good to great condition) to use!
Garden and lawn tools: GROW HUB is a non-profit plant nursery supporting the lives of adults living with disabilities. Donated garden tools and lawn equipment in good working condition are always welcome. You can see their full wishlist here.
Building material: Habitat for Humanity ReStore will accept donated building materials that can be reused. Check their website for a detailed list of what they accept.
Large appliances: Habitat for Humanity ReStore accepts electric appliances in working condition that are under seven years old.
Old linens: If you have household linens that aren’t in perfect condition but are otherwise clean, you can donate them to the Humane Society of North Central Florida to make animals more comfortable.
Hotel soap: Our local chapter of Days for Girls International creates sustainable menstrual kits and distributes them locally and around the world. Their kits include unwrapped bars of soap, and hotel-sized bar soap is ideal. If you are staying in a hotel, stash that soap! Other hotel-sized toiletries can be donated to local shelters.
Old luggage: If you have larger luggage (ideally large roller bags) in rough shape, Days for Girls International can use these donations to distribute menstrual hygiene kits around the world. They use old luggage for this purpose so they don’t have to worry about it making the return trip.
Gently used luggage: Some children who enter foster care do not own a suitcase and must resort to using a trash bag to hold all their possessions. Partnership for Strong Families accepts gently used luggage for youth that come into their care.
Small electronics: The Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo participates in an electronics recycling program called Gorillas on the Line. Proceeds from donated electronics support gorilla conservation initiatives, and recycling electronic components helps reduce the demand a critical component of cell phones and small electronics that is mined in vulnerable gorilla habitats in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The program accepts cell phones, smartphones, tablets, smart watches, GPS, MP3 players, e-readers, digital cameras, handheld gaming systems, headphones, and accessories. Laptops are not accepted but can be recycled at the Alachua County Hazardous Waste Collection Center. Remember to delete your personal information before donating your electronics.
Gently used phones: Peaceful Paths Domestic Abuse Network accepts gently used phones for their clients. Please remember to remove your personal information from the device and include the charger. See their full wish list here.
School and office supplies: Tools For Schools is a reusable resource center located in Alachua County, Florida, providing new and gently used educational supplies to Alachua County Public School teachers at no cost. See their suggested donations.
Full cleanout: Do you need help clearing out a home or business? Reuse Planet is a sustainable alternative to renting a dumpster or hiring a junk removal service. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with specifics to get a quote.
Trash: There are certain items that most non-profits cannot accept, including toxic or hazardous substances, smelly or moldy items, pest-infested items, tires, mattresses, medical equipment, car seats, helmets, unframed mirrors or glass, fluorescent bulbs, and broken appliances. Please dispose of these items responsibly by contacting one of the agencies below:
- Alachua County Hazardous Waste Collection Center – 352-334-0440
- Alachua County Waste Management – 352-374-5213
- Leveda Brown Environmental Park – 352-334-0172
- North Central Solid Waste Collection Center – 352-334-9875
- Trademark Metal Recycling – 352-388-1918