Something amazing happens when you de-clutter your home. A huge sense of accomplishment, relief, and freedom washes over you and you think, “Why have I waited so long to do this!?”
As you pile all of your discarded items into the trunk of your car, you step back and admire the large pile with pride. Look at all of the items that you are removing from your house! You no longer have to clean these items, waste time searching for them, or clean around them. WAHOO!
You climb into your driver’s seat, ready to drop off your donations, and suddenly realize…”Where am I actually going to take all of this?” The last time you took a donation to a big box donation center, you saw boxes and boxes overflowing with other people’s stuff, and you wondered where those items were actually going? Is there a place that you can make a donation and be reassured they get into the hands of families who truly could benefit from them?
The answer is YES, and many of them are in your very own community!
We’ve created an excellent list of organizations located right here in the Lowcountry, where you can donate your gently used items and help your community at the same time!
Places to donate around Charleston
- Who: The Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center is the region’s leading resource to prevent child abuse, protect children, and heal families. Our primary services include providing immediate support and assistance to children and families through forensic interviews, medical examinations, and mental health assessments. Dee Norton also provides therapy to child victims and their families where appropriate. We coordinate with more than 30 partner agencies in the Charleston community to take appropriate action and deliver critical, effective services needed to the child and family.
- What: We take new and gently used toys/games and books for our lobby. We also take diapers and gently used clothes. We see children ages 1 to 17 so it is nice to have a variety of toys/games. We have an X-Box as well so we take G/PG-rated video games.
- Where: Drop off at our office which is located at 677 Long Point Rd, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
- When: We are open Monday-Friday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
- Get In Touch: You can call the Center at 843-723-3600 if you have any questions, email [email protected], and follow on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
- Who: To provide safety net services to our low-income neighbors, while empowering them to create a better future for themselves, their families, and their communities.
- What: Check out the most needed items here as the list is constantly updating. We do try to keep our store seasonal, simply because we are limited on space. You can also donate through our Amazon Wishlist. Read more about their Neighborhood Food Drive, how to host one, and their most requested items.
- Where: 1145 Six Mile Rd, Mount Pleasant, SC 29466
- When: 10 am – 2 pm (M-F), 1st Saturday of each month – 8:00 am to 10:00 am.
- Get In Touch: (843) 849-9220 / [email protected] / Facebook
- Who: The Junior League of Charleston, Inc., is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.
- What: They have a diaper bank that collects, packages, and works with partner organizations to distribute diapers throughout the Lowcountry. Drop-off unused, disposable diapers and pull-up training pants of any brand, size, and type, including open packages, at the JLC office during business hours, Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m or find out other ways to donate here. Check out their Little Black Dress initiative here.
- Where: 51 Folly Rd Blvd, Charleston, SC
- When: 8 am – 4 pm (M-F)
- Get In Touch: (843) 763-5284 / [email protected] / Facebook
- Who: Lowcountry Orphan Relief is a non-profit that provides goods and services to children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect.
- What: Check out their donation guidelines here.
- Where: Drop off centers throughout the Lowcountry
- When: Currently accepting contactless donations on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 am-12 pm.
- Get In Touch: (843) 747-4099 / [email protected] / Facebook
- Who: My Sister’s House, Inc., is a nonprofit organization founded in 1980 that provides services, programs, and resources to empower domestic violence victims and their children to live free from abuse. The organization operates an emergency temporary shelter at an undisclosed location for up to 36 women and children who flee abusive situations in Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester counties in SC.
- What: Check out their list of urgently needed items
- Where: 3775 Spruill Avenue N. Charleston, SC 29415
- When: Tuesdays & Thursdays,10 AM – 2 PM. *Please call us when you arrive and a staff member will come out and unload your car.
- Get In Touch: 843.747.4069, 24/7 Crisis – 1.800.273.HOPE / [email protected] / Facebook
- Who: Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach’s mission is to encourage and support self-sufficiency and self-esteem for people in need in our community through education, wellness, and outreach services. We carry out this mission on Johns Island (for residents of James, Johns, and Wadmalaw Islands) and at the Neighborhood House (in downtown Charleston), helping provide opportunities for people to change their lives.
- What: Donate your gently used clothing or linens, or new, unopened food to the pantry. Check out their greatest needs here.
- Where: NEIGHBORHOOD HOUSE CONTACT: 77 & 79 America St. Charleston SC 29403, T: 843-805-8064, Serving Downtown Charleston. OUTREACH CONTACT: 1684 Brownswood Dr. Johns Island SC 29455, T: 843-559-4109, Serving James, Johns, and Wadmalaw Islands
- Get In Touch: [email protected] / Facebook
- Who: Animal Helpers ReTAIL Resale Store accepts donations of gently used furniture, appliances, decorative items, and more. Donations are tax-deductible. ALL proceeds from the sale of these items go to Pet Helpers to save animals in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.
- What: Gently used furniture, appliances, decorative items & more.
- Where: 1601 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC
- When: 10 am – 6 pm (M-F) / 10 am – 5 pm (Sat)
- Get In Touch: (843) 277-2010 / [email protected]
- Who: UPLIFT is a group of people in Charleston, SC committed to uplifting our communities. We will strive to help the homeless and those in need by providing donations from our communities.
- What: Clothing, food, toiletries, backpacks…ANYTHING is accepted that will support our fellow citizens in need.
- Where: Donations can be dropped off at various locations. Please message for locations and we will also do pickups.
- Get In Touch: Facebook
As a friendly reminder, please remember to donate items in the best condition possible. That means if it’s an electronic device, make sure it works; clothing/stuffed animals should be freshly laundered, etc. Think about if you would accept an item in the current condition if it was given to you. If you wouldn’t accept the item in its current condition, consider recycling it.
Places to donate recycled items
Here is a list of places that accept your items to be recycled, that cannot be recycled in the Charleston County Single-Stream Recycling Program.
- Books – Check out your local library! Also, ask your child’s school, church, daycare, etc. if they are in need of any books/magazines, DVDs, etc.
- Bras – Most shelters will take gently used bras (no holes, please!) Also, these women are in need of all sanitary products. Did you try a new brand, open a box, and not like the product? You don’t have to throw the rest away, you can donate them! Soma Intimates donates all items to a local charity, My Sister’s House. Not in Charleston? Check out iSupportTheGirls to see which local organizations take these products in your area.
- Bridal Dress/Formal Attire – Don’t feel like holding on to your wedding dress, or that bridesmaid dress that’s been taking up space in your closet? Consider donating to the Junior League of Charleston for their Bridal Boutique! Items are collected year-round at the JL office.
- Clothing with holes/stains – All H&M Stores will take your old textiles – regardless of brand (clothing, sheets, etc.)
- Documents – We all have those documents with our personal information on them. If you’d like to shred them, there are many locations throughout Charleston where you can get that taken care of. Most places charge a small fee (like 99 cents/lb.) Think places like your local mail store or even Staples. Here is a list of places you can shred, or you can wait for one of their free shred events.
- Electronics – Staples will accept your old electronics, as long as they carry those products in their store. This can be anything from an old keyboard to wires that you have no clue what they belong to…
- Glasses – Most eye doctors are affiliated with programs like VSP Eyes of Hope or Lions Club. These organizations take your old glasses and donate them to individuals who have a similar prescription. The next time you go to your eye doctor, try to remember to drop off your old glasses in their donation boxes – easy peasy!
- Nike Shoes – As part of Nike’s Move to Zero program, you can bring your old Nike shoes to any participating Nike store where they give them old life through Nike Grind.
- Professional Attire – After I moved to Charleston, I ended up staying home with my daughter and all of my professional attire sat in my closet collecting dust and adding clutter. If you have interview-worthy professional attire that you no longer wear, consider donating to Dress for Success, an incredible organization that helps women get back into the workforce.
- Sheets/Bedding/Towels/Pillows, etc – These textiles are a great addition to any place that takes care of pets. Check with your favorite pet resort or animal shelter. Your old sheets and towels help keep the animals cozy and warm until they find a new home (they are also always looking for newspapers!)
- Shoes – All DSW locations accept your gently worn shoes which are donated to Soles4Souls and BeStrong.
- Stuffed Animals – Many places won’t take stuffed animals for the risk of bed bugs. The one place that will accept them is Lowcountry Orphan Relief. Please launder the stuffed animals before donating.
There you have it! We hope that this list of organizations will help make your next donation trip feel as rewarding as it was to clean out your space. Happy de-cluttering!