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Spring Cleaning? Consider Donating Items to Your Local Shelter

March 21, 2012

This past week Chicago was blessed with some of the most unseasonably warm and beautiful days we could imagine.

Photo courtesy Taekwonweirdo

This jump-start into spring, which I’m pretty sure will not last, is lovely and has me thinking about spring cleaning — and this year I want to do something special.

Instead of donating everything we plan to give away to our local Salvation Army, I’m going to take a look through the “give away” box and make a second pile for items my local shelter needs — and I challenge you to do the same.

Many shelters are in constant need of items you may never think of. While they may certainly need cat litter, canned food and litter boxes, their list doesn’t end there. Many can use towels, blankets, sheets and pillow cases. Go through your home office too — items like file folders, plastic storage bins, office supplies and even old computers may be needed. And don’t forget to do a bit of spring cleaning with your cat, too. I’m sure she won’t mind if you donated a few of her never-played-with toys or old cat bed to a good cause.

If you’re not sure what your local shelter needs, just drop by, visit their website or call and ask if they have a donation wish list. Even if they don’t, perhaps the folks there can give you a quick run-down of household items they need.

Here’s a quick review of the wish list for the shelter where I volunteer. Perhaps it’ll give you some ideas of what to look out for when you’re doing your seasonal purge:

Cat: Cat toys (gently used, or as I’m sure we all have, never used), cat beds, food and water bowls, wet and dry cat food (check with your shelter if they use certain brands, otherwise some shelters may donate it to needy families), cat treats, carriers, nail clippers, cat trees

Photo courtesy wo1vesrx

Linen Closet: Towels, blankets, linens, pillow cases

Household: Heating pads, hot-air vaporizer, air purifiers, portable radios, plastic storage containers, portable air conditioners, paper plates, hand soap, laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent, flashlights, batteries

Office: Office chairs, filing cabinets, index cards, postage stamps, copy paper, file folders, tape (scotch, duct, packing), envelopes

If you’d like to give more, consider other services you can offer. Perhaps there are outreach events you can participate in, or maybe you can offer a service and donate the proceeds to the shelter. Other items like donated gift certificates are helpful because the shelter can use them for raffle prizes and silent gift auctions.

I hope once you’re done you feel an immense amount of satisfaction — not only for your clean home, but because you were able to truly help those in need.

Happy spring cleaning!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 22, 2012 7:23 am

    I have an order in to my Scout Troop, whose jumble sale is on saturday, that I will take away any blankets, towels, duvets and little toys for our local shelter. I’ll cut down and finish the edges of bedding and towels for the cats, and use any duvets to make nests for kitties.

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