How to Give Back to the Community

Nearly everyone has something they don't need that another person could benefit from. Donating those things to the less-fortunate is a great way to give back to the community. Look for a Salvation Army, Goodwill, or charity drop box near you.


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    Donate clothing. The rule for clothes is simple: if it is too tight, too loose, too revealing, or is no longer in style, give it away. Wash clothes before you donate them. If the article of clothing has any damage or defects, get it repaired so presentable, or trash it.
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    Donate books. We outgrow books like we outgrow our clothes. If you feel you will not read the book again for whatever reason, give it to someone who will enjoy it but can't afford to buy it new. If it is in poor condition or in some way obscene, don't donate it. Otherwise, someone will benefit from your donation.
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    Donate shoes.
    • For leather shoes, shine them up nicely, and try hard to scrub off scuffs, mud, and other things without fading the color. Also, use an anti-itch powder on the inside of the shoe, and a " freshener" to make the shoe smell good, and be free of sweat, and potential athletes foot.
    • For sneakers, wash them or use a cleaner specified for the shoe color.
    • Suede boots should be cleaned with suede cleaner and powdered.
    • Dressy and casual shoes should be powdered and cleaned according to what they're made of.
    • Flip-flops and sandals should be cleaned properly as well. Some sandals are left with foot marks. They are not necessarily dirty, but marked. Try a suede cleaner and if you're not comfortable with that, just powder them.
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    Donate coats, scarves, hats and knits.
    • Dry clean coats.
    • Wash knits delicately.
    • Wash hats with a lice-killing detergent and dry in a dryer, never outside. Spray a perfume or other nice smelling thing along with a lice killer spray.
    • Check and follow cleaning instructions for scarves based on what they're made of.
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    Donate canned goods. Buy new canned goods or get them out of your pantry. Make sure they aren't opened, punctured, damaged, or expired.


  • Just give. You don't have to deprive yourself, but give what you don't need to the less fortunate.
  • The fact that less-fortunate families and people are getting second-hand things doesn't mean they should get distasteful, dirty, or damaged things. Evaluate the quality of something before donating it.
  • If you can't get to a Salvation Army or Goodwill store, many places of worship and community centers have charity drop boxes. Leaving your unwanted goods at such a location is quick and easy!
  • Consider offering your time or skills rather than goods; often these are needed just as much, if not more.

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Categories: Volunteer and Community Service