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Direct Donation Route
updated: Mar 17, 2014, 1:36 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

In the past, I have donated items to Goodwill, Catholic Charities, United Family... Each has a thrift shop, but where is the best place to take used good quality clothing, books, toys, household items etc., where there is a more direct route to the people who need stuff like that?

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 503598 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-17 01:59 PM

There is a charity that helps people go from homeless to renting a place again and they sometimes will accept furniture and household items to help people furnish their new apartment. Transition House may be the name. The women's shelter houses women and children who may have had to flee an abuser with just what is on their backs--I have donated items there, too. Freecycle or Craigslist free items works, though you can't be sure the person you are giving it to s going to use it or rather will sell it. Salvation ARmy goes through a lot of towels, sheets, and such so I would call and see what they need. The homeless shelter can use clean clothing and especially jackets in the cooler months.


 ABOMB agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-17 02:10 PM

Mental Wellness Center has a "Care closet" where they give away and sell items directly to their members, many of whom are homeless and/or living with chronic mental illness. You can usually drop off items whenever they are open. They are always in need of large sizes of clothing as well as shoes, toiletries, bedding, etc.


 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-17 02:10 PM

I would call each place first because I have seen donations end up in the trash of some of these places so call and find out so the product is not wasted..


 COMMENT 503604 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-17 02:13 PM

Alpha Thrift is my go-to place. No religious superstition attached to them.


 COMMENT 503607 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-17 02:17 PM

Direct relief


 COMMENT 503617P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-17 02:39 PM

Interesting to know about the background, that which is unmentioned, unpublicized about all organizations. Thanks for the info above.


 COMMENT 503647 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-17 03:44 PM

Some great organizations in nearby cities are run by volunteers so that all the proceeds go to the charity. Most of the ones in SB just send a nominal amount to the charities they represent and have lots of costs and overhead.

I like to fill up my car with donations whenever I go to Solvang because they have several all volunteer staffed thrifts. The SYV Humane Society is at 393 Alisal Road. All proceeds directly benefit the animals. Another one is directly across the street "New to You" which benefits SYV Cottage Hospital and it is at 1689 Oak Street.


 COMMENT 503648 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-17 03:45 PM

Assistance League of Santa Barbara on Veronica Springs Road.


 COMMENT 503660 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-17 04:20 PM

Buellton Senior Center Thrift store and The Man Cave are run by volunteers also; the proceeds from their stores support a meals on wheels program for low income seniors in Sta. Ynez Valley.


 YIN YANG agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-17 04:26 PM

Ask Unity Shoppe 965-4122

"Over 22,000 unduplicated people are referred for food, clothing, school supplies, furniture and basic necessities."


 COMMENT 503678 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-17 04:46 PM

DAWG ~ Dog shelter always needs blanket, towels, rugs, cushions, dog carriers. For books~~ Planned Parenthood, Jury Duty holding room, any Senior place, Library, schools.

Most of the thrift stores sell their stuff for higher prices than they should, considering they get everything for-free.... I'm suspicious about their profits and where is that money really going??

You could always leave the stuff at the curb.


 COMMENT 503695P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-17 05:27 PM

I hate to say it but I watched a volunteer walk out to her car with two arms full of "donations" from the receiving area at my last drop off at the Assistant League. Consequently I am reluctant to donate anything of real value to any charitable association. I have enough stuff from combining three homes to set up a family's kitchen and bathroom. Not just in good condition, but never opened or used. Find me a place where things aren't filtered past the employees for first dibs.


 COMMENT 503731 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-17 08:16 PM

I just saw this story. A woman opened up a used clothing store and gives clothes away.... It's in Missouri and it's called "Selfless Beginnings". Saw it on the website "Good News Network"



 COMMENT 503826P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 09:17 AM

695, talk to Transition House; tell them your concerns. Maybe you could help a family that's moving into a place and bring it there.


 COMMENT 503838 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 09:52 AM

Assistance League Thrift Shop!


 COMMENT 503850 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 10:38 AM

This is a great question! I've been thinking about this too. I want my donations to go to the PEOPLE, not the organization and the city or whatever else...


 COMMENT 503882 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 11:30 AM

Alpha thrift is a rip off. That is the stuff being sold in the 2 stores. You will find home made pottery that is priced way over what it is worth. The employees do not have a clue what they are doing - other than driving away good customers. I used to donate to Catholic charities. There is an older man who works there who is very mean. I brought my bags with donation items and left them in the drop off area and he threw them on the ground. That behavior does not encourage people to donate. How many others has he alienated?


 COMMENT 503899P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 12:11 PM

Unity Shoppe was beyond generous and helpful after my house burned in the Tea Fire. They just GAVE me stuff--new underwear, a desk, a chair, whatever I needed. Unfortunately, their three vehicles were damaged in the wind storm recently so they are not able to pick things up right now. I used to always donate to the Alpha Stores, but they have really been pricing their stuff high, so it's no longer a bargain for those who need it.


 COMMENT 503994P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-18 03:46 PM

Give money. It targets need better.


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