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  • Writer's pictureMadeleine Janz

Spreading Good with Your Thrift Store Donations.

Updated: Jul 26, 2022

When it’s time to clean your home or closets and think about what you no longer need, donating to a thrift store like ReUzit on State is a great choice. The environmental benefits of donating to and shopping at thrift stores have been proven and passing on your items to new hands instead of throwing them away can be an incredibly gratifying feeling.

But not all donations are made equal and ensuring that you donate quality, cared for items is really important to supporting thrift stores and their mission. It can be easy to think of thrift stores as a place for anything you no longer want, but it’s important to think of the volunteers working at thrift stores and the potential recipients of your items before donating.

Thoughtless donations, like dirty clothing/shoes and broken furniture/appliances can cost thrift stores a lot of money to dispose of, taking time and resources away from other necessary tasks. This doesn’t mean that well-worn things shouldn’t be donated; they should just be in good condition and potentially helpful to another wearer or user. Melinda Selmys is a blogger and mother of seven who explained what should be donated to thrift stores in her 2016 Vox essay titled “I rely on thrift stores to keep my family clothed and fed. What you donate matters.”

Describing what should be donated, Melinda wrote, “When I'm getting rid of old clothes, I always sort through them first: If it's torn, or stained, or so worn-out that it's see-through, nobody wants it… Thinking a bit about how your donations will be used, and who could benefit from them most, can increase your power to do good with all of the old junk that's cluttering up your space.”

The next time you’re preparing to make a donation, take a page out of Melinda’s book and ask yourself these questions: If I still had need for this item, would I re-purchase it in the condition it is in? Is this item truly a gift or am I passing on the responsibility and the cost of discarding my item? With these questions in mind, you can do a whole lot more good with your donations.

By Madeleine Jantz, Guest Blogger; Madeleine is a Lancaster-raised NYC-based journalist on the entertainment and Fashion beats. In her free time she is an avid thrifter.


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