Donating your unwanted items to the Salvation Army is a great way to make some space available in your home while also supporting a worthwhile charity. Depending on what services are available in your local area, you may be able to arrange to have your donation picked up.
Types of Donations Accepted
The Salvation Army accepts many forms of donations. From monetary contributions to donations of household goods and clothing, anything that helps better the lives of those less fortunate is appreciated. Donations of furniture and household goods can often be arranged to be picked up at your residence.
This is a convenient service since many people are unable to deliver large items to their local Salvation Army. It is also convenient for those who want to donate items but are unable to drive. Types of items that are accepted as donations include:
- Clothing for men, women and children
- Furniture in good condition (beds, dressers, chairs, sofas, tables, etc.)
- Appliances such as washers, dryers, air conditioners, stoves, microwaves, TVs and refrigerators are all accepted
- Miscellaneous items such as bicycles, lawn mowers, toys and even office equipment
Donations must be in working condition, clean, ready to be used, and in compliance with current safety standards. Since pickup services cost the organization money, it is best to have the items in the best possible condition. If you have questions about a potential donation, it is best to discuss it with your local Salvation Army.
Scheduling a Donation Pickup
Pickup availability varies by location, based on the policies and capacity of the Salvation Army stores in your region. To find out if pickup is available in your area, the best first step is to visit the 'schedule a pickup' page on the organization's website and enter your ZIP code. You will receive a message indicating if online services are available in your area.
- If you live in an area where it is possible to schedule a pickup online, you will need to fill out the on-screen form to provide details about what items you have that need to be picked up. Once that has been completed, you will be able to advance to a screen that will allow you to schedule your pickup. Trucks run delivery routes, which impact date availability in specific areas. You will be able to enter instructions for the driver, such as where you will be leaving the items on your property or if he should knock on your door to get them. You will need to create a free account on the website in order to finalize arrangements.
- If online services are not available, this does not necessarily mean that pickup is not an option for you. However, you will not be able to schedule a pickup online. The system will provide you with the phone number for the local Salvation Army office, and you will need to call to find out if they are willing to pick up your donation. Be prepared to describe the type and quantity of things you want to donate, as that may impact whether or not they can come to your home to get your items. While many types of donations the organization accepts can be picked up in locations where this service is available, restrictions on quantity may apply at the discretion of the individual region. For example, the Chicago location has a five box minimum if you want them to pick up your donation, while some locations will come to you for donations of any size.
Alternately, if you don't want to start at the website, you can call the Salvation Army's national toll-free number (800-728-7825) to start the process. Just be aware that the staff member who answers your call will direct you to the local office for assistance with your request.
Where Does the Donation Go?
When you donate an item to the Salvation Army, it often ends up in a Salvation Army Family Store. The stores are in many communities and exist to provide quality items, such as clothing and furniture, at a discounted price. The proceeds of the sales go to help the Salvation Army Rehab Centers. The Centers help women and men gain vocational skills that can help them succeed in life.
Local Pickup Services
Pickup services from the Salvation Army vary by region and have to be scheduled through the local branch. Since picking up items cost the Salvation Army money, it is considerate to keep several things in mind:
- If you scheduled a pickup, be sure to be there, and don't make the staff wait for you. Alternately, leave items clearly marked for donation outside in an area easily accessible to the driver.
- Have the items in a convenient area of your home or property so it is easy for the Salvation Army staff to get them.
- Be courteous to the staff; after all, they are providing you with a service by getting rid of your item.
Your Unwanted Items Can Make a Difference
Donations to the Salvation Army help people in your community regain their confidence and learn skills to make them have a better life. If you have unwanted items in your home, consider the Salvation Army as a recipient of your next donation.