Declutter for a cause: where to donate your unwanted household items in Calgary
It’s time for spring cleaning, and while the excitement surrounding the Marie Kondo Method has died down somewhat since its peak, decluttering never goes out of style.
However, if you’re ready to part with some of your stuff, don’t just throw it in the trash. There are countless charitable organizations across the Calgary area that accept all manner of gently used household goods, from clothing and books to electronics and furniture.
The following are 20 organizations you can support with your donations, plus all the information you’ll need to get started, including which household items are appropriate and the causes those items will help support.
Description: Books Between Friends sells used books, with proceeds supporting several local organizations, including B.C. and Alberta Guide Dogs, Bethany Care Society, Calgary Cerebral Palsy Association, and Veterans Food Bank of Calgary.
What you can donate: Any books in good condition.
How to donate: Deliver donations to #14, 3434 34th Ave. N.E.
Description: The Calgary Donations Program helps fund the work of MOMS Canada, a non-profit organization helping single moms and their children.
What you can donate: Clothing and shoes in wearable condition, accessories (e.g., ties, sunglasses, hats, etc.), kitchenware, home décor, small electronics, toys, sporting gear, bikes, musical instruments, and hand tools.
How to donate: Schedule a donation pickup.
Description: The Calgary Dream Centre is a faith-based recovery organization that offers specialized programs for both men and women to help them through addiction.
What you can donate: Clothing, household items, recreation gear/equipment, certain food items, toiletries and more – a full list is available here.
How to donate: Contact the Calgary Dream Centre.
Description: The Calgary Drop-In Centre is an emergency shelter that also provides essential care and health services, employment training and housing supports.
What you can donate: As part of its Free Goods Program, the Calgary Drop-In Centre accepts all clean and usable household items, furniture, cookware, clothing and hygiene items. The centre is also in great need of winter clothing and other critical items, such as sleeping bags, blankets, backpacks and towels.
How to donate: Mail or deliver your donations to the organization’s Donation Centre at 3640 11A St. N.E.
Description: The Calgary Flames Sports Bank gathers, recycles and redistributes used sports equipment at no cost to kids who would otherwise be denied the opportunity to participate.
What you can donate: Current priority items include sleds/toboggans, snowshoes, cross-country skis, cross-country ski boots, downhill skis, ski poles, hockey helmets and skates.
How to donate: Drop off equipment at one of seven Wood Automotive Group dealerships – a full list is available here.
Description: The Calgary Inter-Faith Furniture Society helps families bridge difficult times by collecting and re-distributing mattresses, furniture and household goods.
What you can donate: Furniture, kitchenware, toys and games, clothing, and music.
How to donate: Drop off goods at 635 35th Ave. N.E. or call 403-276-3173 to arrange a free pickup.
Description: Diabetes Canada uses clothing donations to raise money for diabetes research and support programs.
What you can donate: Textiles, electronics, sporting goods and household items. A full list is available here.
How to donate: Clothing, accessories and other household textiles can be placed in a Diabetes Canada donation bin – find the closest bin to you here.
Description: Dress for Success Calgary helps women succeed in the workplace and achieve economic independence.
What you can donate: A variety of women’s clothing items and accessories – a full list of acceptable items is available here.
How to donate: Drop off donation items at 6516 1A St. S.W.
Description: The Electronics Recycling Association focuses on reducing unnecessary waste and environmental impact through retiring electronic and IT equipment. By repurposing unwanted electronics, the association can donate refurbished equipment to foundations and charities in the community.
What you can donate: Desktop and laptop computers, printers, computer peripherals, phone systems, software, and assorted parts.
How to donate: Schedule a pickup online or drop off items at 1301 34th Ave. S.E.
Description: Every donation made to Goodwill goes towards enhancing the lives of Albertans with disabilities. Donated items are sold in Goodwill retail stores, where more than 89 cents from every dollar in sales supports programs and services for Albertans with disabilities.
What you can donate: New and gently used clothing, footwear, housewares, linens and furnishings, furniture, sporting equipment, artwork, collectibles, jewelry and accessories, holiday items, toys, games, books and media, bags, purses, and towels.
How to donate: find your nearest donation drop-off location.
Description: Habitat for Humanity ReStores are home and building supply stores that accept and resell new and used building materials. Funds generated by ReStores are used to fund Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta home building projects.
What you can donate: A variety of appliances, building materials, furniture pieces, tools and household goods – a full list of acceptable items is available here.
How to donate: Drop off your donation at any of the three Calgary ReStore locations or schedule a curbside pickup.
Description: Inclusion Alberta is a family-based, non-profit federation that advocates on behalf of children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families.
What you can donate: Clothing and household goods.
How to donate: Find a donation bin near you.
Description: The Kidney Clothes program is an initiative of the Kidney Foundation of Canada to raise money by collecting and repurposing reusable and resalable clothing and household goods from donors.
What you can donate: Clothing, bedding, accessories, luggage, sporting goods, small appliances, kitchenware, jewelry, tools and more.
How to donate: Find your nearest donation drop box or schedule a pickup.
Description: Made by Momma is a volunteer-run organization providing wholesome nourishment and nurturing care to mothers and young children facing situations of adversity and crisis.
What you can donate: Strollers, car seats, cribs, crib mattresses, baby/children’s clothing, and baby/children’s toys and books – donation standards info is available here.
How to donate: Donations can be dropped off at the Made by Momma Volunteer Resource Centre (66 21st St. N.W.) during open hours.
Description: May’s Toybank Ltd. collects donations of children’s clothes and toys, as well as baby items, and redistributes them to families in need in the Chestermere area.
What you can donate: Children’s clothing and toys, and baby items.
How to donate: Schedule a donation pickup by calling 403-903-1973 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Description: MEOW Foundation is a specialized, cat-focused registered charity and humane society that rescues and facilitates the adoption of stray and abandoned cats into permanent homes.
What you can donate: Antiques, art, books, games, puzzles, toys, electronics, small appliances, kitchenware, small furniture, home décor, bedding, sports equipment, tools and more.
How to donate: Drop off donations at the MEOW Charity Thrift Shop, 336 41st Ave. N.E.
Description: The Mustard Seed assists individuals experiencing poverty and homelessness.
What you can donate: Men’s and women’s winter coats and boots, gloves, toques, men’s pants, work boots, construction pants, and safety glasses.
How to donate: Drop off donation items at the Mustard Seed Downtown, the Mustard Seed Shelter or the Mustard Seed Resource Sorting Centre – addresses and hours are available here.
Description: The People for Progress Foundation is an education-based international charitable organization supporting schools and individual students in East Africa.
What you can donate: mobile phones, laptop computers, small desktop computers, USB drives, cameras, pens and pencils, permanent markers, crayons, white erasers, pencil sharpeners, small toys, clothing, and children’s books.
How to donate: If you have items you would like to donate, contact Mary-Ann Stushnoff at 403-605-5563.
Description: The Salvation Army is a Christian organization that gives hope and support to vulnerable people in 400 communities across Canada and in 131 countries.
What you can donate: Accessories, antiques and collectibles, clothing, computers, electronics, furniture, housewares, media and books, seasonal items, textiles, and toys.
How to donate: Donation items can be dropped off at your nearest Salvation Army Thrift Store or Drop Bin.
Description: Women in Need Society (WINS) is Calgary’s homegrown thrift charity, providing basic needs resources and support to women and their families.
What you can donate: Clothing and shoes, accessories, household goods, small appliances, electronics, décor, linens, media and books, children’s toys and books, small musical instruments, sporting equipment, and furniture.
How to donate: Drop off donation items at any WINS Family Thrift Store or at the WINS Donation Centre – more information is available here.