The holiday season tends to motivate people to give back to their community by reaching out to those in need, but not all donations are appropriate. When sifting through our closets, making room before Black Friday shopping, we shouldn’t assume everything we no longer want is worthy of dropping off at Goodwill. We should know by now that those socks your big toenail destroyed belong in the trash, not a donation bin. In fact, any item typically worn underneath our clothes shouldn’t be donated unless they’re brand new. No one wants to touch a strangers undergarments let alone wear them. What else shouldn’t be donated? Check out our list!
Broken Toys: Imagine it’s Christmas morning and children all over the world are erupting out of bed in excessive glee. Now imagine that same glee suddenly leaving a child’s face as they realize the toy they just unwrapped is broken. It’s not a pretty sight. Instead, donate the toys that were hardly played with or spend a few dollars on a brand new one.
Old Prescription Medication: It might be thought that someone without medical insurance would really appreciate leftover medication, and perhaps they would. That is, until they’re put in the hospital for misdiagnosing themselves. Best case scenario, the medication is so old that it’s useless and has no effect on them. Instead, donate unopened cold medicine and aspirin.
Expired Food: Just because some of us don’t mind our yogurt a little chunky, doesn’t mean the rest of the world is on the same page. Check the date when shuffling through the pantry! Or instead, purchase extra canned goods a week or two before making a donation.
Leftover Halloween Candy: Seriously, just save it for next year. Instead, donate healthy snacks.
Old Technology: If it’s old and useless to us, then it’s still old and useless to those in need. Technology changes faster than most of us can keep up with. Those in need shouldn’t be forced to be technologically trapped in the 90’s, listening to CD’s and carrying around beepers. Instead, donate money to an organization focused on technological advancement for communities in need.
Dirty Clothes: A simple pass or fail sniff test should do the trick. If you have to take the article of clothing out of your laundry basket, it’s an automatic fail. It wouldn’t hurt to do a quick load of laundry before dropping off a donation though.
Broken Appliances: We can’t re-gift that toaster the in-laws left under our tree last year because the knob fell off when we took it out of the box. And our old A/C unit has a small leak and has been sitting in the garage the past 3 summers. If we’re planning to donate them, our intentions must be to cruelly waste some poor volunteer’s time as they sift through our garbage. Repair it or toss it. (Click here to get more information on fixing that A/C unit!)
Half Used Toiletries: That lotion we bought on clearance that smells a little funky, or the hair gel that turns our hair white. All perfectly fine to use, just not something we’d use. The only problem is we did use them, and donating them would just be wrong. Instead, donate the necessities such as an unused bar of soap or toothbrush.
This holiday season, Spectronics Corporation has been working with the Westbury Neighborhood Association, donating food and toys to those in need in our community. We encourage you to reach out to them or a food pantry in your area with your own contributions. You can make a difference to a family in need!