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Where Can Our Spring Cleaning Donations Make a Difference?

Feeling the urge to purge.

There is something about Spring that inspires us to clean the house, open the windows and purge the closets. "What do I do with all of this stuff?" you ask yourself.

It seems we all have lots of gear to get rid of: baby clothes, maternity clothes, old highchairs, toys, toys and more toys. As your kids get older, the gear changes into bigger clothes, bikes, sports equipment or electronic devices that were upgraded last year. You give away what you can but there is only so much other people want; they have too much of their own stuff.

Garage sales can be a lot of work and there are plenty of consignment shops but that could be a time-consuming process too. Why toss something in the garbage that is still in good condition when you could make sure it goes to a family in need?

The question is: where should it all go? The mailman drops plenty of flyers and packets in our mailboxes from wonderful organizations like the Salvation Army and Big Brothers, Big Sisters, but what about charities that are closer to home, more specific to the Chatham area?

Donating to help the local community can feel great. You know another family in need will get good use out of your gear. Plus you will not feel the guilt of loading up our landfills with perfectly usable items.

Moms, you know you are feeling the itch. Roll up your sleeves and dive into those closets, playrooms, garages and basements - it is time to get organized! Or just make room for more stuff.

Tell us about your favorite Chatham area charity! Where can our Spring cleaning donations make a difference?

Colleen Bohensky April 27, 2011 at 03:09 PM
I'm interested to hear about more local charity donation options. I have to admit... that while we much prefer donation to trash... we're lazy donators. We go back and forth between the Lupus Foundation of America (www.lfapickup.org) and the Vietnam Veterans of America (www.scheduleapickup.com). They tend to be our charities of choice simply because the of the ease of donating. I log in... choose a pick up time... put our stuff on our doorstep... a truck shows up to pick it all up. They also take just about anything I've ever wanted to donate.
Stuart Chirls April 27, 2011 at 03:19 PM
Vietnam Vets has always been a convenient choice for us. We have also used the Freecycle Network (www.freecycle.org), a free, non-profit group dedicated to reuse in the community. You can find anything from hats to hardware there!
Lara Aumento April 27, 2011 at 03:54 PM
We rotate between the Lupus foundation and the Market Street Mission, which is a local charity (Morristown). The Market Street Mission will come and pick up if you call them, or, you can drop your items off at their thrift store in Morristown. The Lupus Foundation makes what seems like quarterly visits to Madison and I always manage to have something to give them (and I really thought I was cutting down on the amount of 'stuff' coming into the house!).
Kimberly April 27, 2011 at 04:11 PM
We utilize the convenience of the Viet Nam Vets and Lupus Foundation's pickups as well. The Madison YMCA will take certain toys and kids' movies for Kids' Central. You can also easily drop things off at the Salvation Army or Market Street Mission, both in Morristown.
Diana Gervits April 27, 2011 at 04:54 PM
Morristown Jewish Center nursery school is having a rummage sale on May 11 & 12 and are accepting donations. So everyone is welcome to donate gently used items.
Laura Axler April 27, 2011 at 05:16 PM
If I have old toys that are good for outside use (or if I buy them super cheap at tag sales), I take them to the Dodge Field sandbox. It is great to see kids using things that were just taking up space in our house. They always need new ones there -- sometimes all there is left is a shovel handle and broken bowl! I also took clean old tshirts, towels, and bed linens to St. Hubert's (call ahead to see if they will take them) for the dogs and cats. Otherwise, I take stuff to consignment stores in town (New Leaf for adult/household) and Sprouts (kids) if things are "good" or to Market Street Mission if not quite so good.
Elizabeth McConnell April 27, 2011 at 07:00 PM
Our kids school recently organized a book exchange between the kids and has plans to to a similar one in the future for stuffed animals. True, there isn't a net loss of stuff but at least we are using what we have, and the kids are very excited by the idea that what they gave away is being enjoyed by a fellow student.
Melissa Bartoli April 27, 2011 at 07:13 PM
Great suggestions! Thanks for all of the feedback!
Stuart Chirls April 27, 2011 at 07:50 PM
Our daughter also organized a book swap at her elementary school for student council. Students brought in their gently used books and swapped for others. All grades participated and there was a good turnout of books.
Anna Tivade April 27, 2011 at 09:27 PM
The Morris County chapter of National Organization for Women will be holding our annual garage sale in June, and we are accepting donations at this time. Our chapter has been protecting women's rights in Morris County for over 30 years, and your donation will help us continue. We can pick up your donation. Contact the chapter at 973-285-1200, or e-mail: MorrisCountyNOW@gmail.com. You can also find us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Morris-County-NOW/143169639048553
Yvonne V. April 28, 2011 at 12:17 PM
This link from the Morris County Library provides a list of places to donate various items in Morris County: www.gti.net/mocolib1/donate.html Yvonne V.
Jane Primerano April 28, 2011 at 05:00 PM
St. Paul's Episcopal Church on Main Street is having a rummage sale on Saturday, May 7. Drop off items tomorrow, Friday, April 29 between 5 and 8 p.m. It benefits the youth group's service trip this summer and other important missions of the church.
Judy Ossmann April 28, 2011 at 06:29 PM
Don't forget to donate to The Independent thrift Shop located at 33 Kings Rd., Madison. This thrift shop has been in existence for 69 years, and except for utilities, all monies go to charities. Check it out! Judy Ossmann

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