Season of Giving

Since it is the season of giving, and practically the end of the year too, I thought now would be a good time to talk about donating some of your unused home items to a charity.  I’m all about de-cluttering and simplifying my life these days, and honestly, I just have accumulated so much stuff… and I don’t need it.  I want to start 2011 by being more organized and streamlined, so I have been on a binging mission for the past few weeks.

Now, my charity of choice is Salvation Army.  There is a Salvation Army store about a half hour away from my home, and in the past I have donated stereos, printers, books, beauty products (a ton of these!), pots and pans, and of course, clothing.  I will most likely make a trip in a few days to donate an old TV and possibly a couch (if the home consignment store won’t take it), plus more books and clothes.

If you don’t have a Salvation Army nearby, check out Charity Navigator (www.charitynavigator.org).  Last year alone, more than four million donors used the site that Time Magazine called “One of America’s 50 Coolest Websites for 2006.” Additionally, the site is a two-time Forbes award winner for “Best of the Web,” was selected by Reader’s Digest as one of the “100 Best Things about America,” and was chosen by PC World as “One of America’s Top Websites.” It is a fantastic site and is the nation’s largest and most utilized evaluator of charities.

For example, if you want to give to a dog charity, just punch in “dog” in the search browser and almost 100 charities pop up as possibilities.   To find out more about the charity, just click on the name and find out details such as its financial picture, mission statement, leadership and their compensation, other charities doing similar work, and an overall rating based on financial health and accountability/transparency.  It really simplifies the process, and also helps target your specific charity cause.

I love it, and can’t wait to purge all these items I don’t need and give them to someone who does.

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