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Brisbane Charities That Don't Need Your Money

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by Shannon Meyerkort (subscribe)
Writer. Storyteller. Find out more at or join me at
Published January 31st 2013
How to give back when you have nothing to give
Queenslanders are having a tough couple of years, first with floods then cyclones and then more floods. What happens if you really want to help, but you don't have a lot of spare cash to give?

Here is a list of some of the more unusual things you can donate, and make a difference to someone in need.

Get online and find a way to help others

'Stuff' for the Flood Victims
Hundreds of families have lost their homes in the 2013 floods and many more have lost most of their possessions. People desperately need bed linen, food storage containers, camping stoves, batteries and cleaning products.

GIVIT is a fantastic charity that allows people with goods to donate to connect directly to people needing assistance. Click here to see what is needed right now.

Food to spare? Give it away

If you don't have a spare doona to send up north, then surely you can spare a tin of soup or packet of pasta. Foodbank and Retail First shopping centres are co-ordinating a food drive to assist the thousands of people have been displaced by the recent floods. Click here to find out the many places you can drop your non-perishable foods.

Have you ever bought a bra without trying it on and found out it doesn't fit (but you can't be bothered returning it). Or did your boobs get enormous (or deflate) after breastfeeding? If you have good condition bras that no longer fit then consider sending them to Project Uplift who provide bras to women in need here in Australia and abroad.

All bras in good conditions are required, but maternity and nursing bras are particularly required. Bras can be dropped off at two locations across the city (Toowong and Brisbane CBD) or posted to Qld Uplift, PO Box 538, Toowong Qld 4066.

Bra too big? Donate it

We all have a shelf full of books we read once and will never read again. Perhaps you were coerced into buying it by an intellectual ex-girlfriend. Perhaps it was an unwelcome gift from Granny. Perhaps you are just embarrassed to admit you own a copy of 50 Shades of Grey.

Uniting Care Community, who are responsible for the 24/7 telephone crisis counselling Lifeline, hold regular Bookfests around Queensland, with the money raised going directly back into the training of counsellors. You can drop your books off in any of the Lifeline bins or take them directly to Lifeline Shops.

Click here to find out more about the Brisbane Bookfests.

Business clothes
If your life these days is more about rug-rats than the rat-race then you may have some nice business clothes that is sitting, unworn (and if you're like me, no longer fitting) in the wardrobe.

Suited for Success is a greater Brisbane non-profit organisation that helps women return to the workforce (or get into the workforce) by providing them with business clothing, work skills and resume and interview advice. Help someone start their new life in the right outfit. You can donate clothing, handbags, shoes and accessories.

Clothing can be dropped off at Unit 1, 47 Anderson Street, Fortitude Valley. Click here for opening times or call (07) 3216 1969 to find out more.

Big or small, donate your old clothes

We have all seen the piles of clothes sitting outside charity bins, left to ruin in the rain and sun. Did you know it costs those charities tens of thousands of dollars each year to dispose of them, money that could be put to better uses. Before dumping your clothes and leaving them as someone else's problem, take a minute to try and find the most appropriate place for them.

Click here for a list of Queensland charities which need donations of clothes.

Old Crap Clothes
It's fine to donate clothes if they are still in good condition and there's a good chance someone else will want to wear them. But what about your favourite old Cure t-shirt that has stretched so much it resembles a Yurt, or those stonewash high waisted jeans that are Just. Plain. Embarrassing.

No fear, all clothes donated to Lifeline that aren't good enough to sell in one of their many shops will be cut down and sold as rags to industries which requires rags as part of their essential business. All donations are appreciated. Click here for more information.

Mobile Phones
Love your new iPhone! Bet you love it too… but what have you done with your old mobile phone? Don't just shove it in a drawer, donate it to Clean Up Australia and they will use the money raised (each phone that can be recycled is worth $3) to go to their various charities across the state and across Australia.

Click here to request a (pre-paid) satchel to send your phone in, download a label you can stick on a sturdy envelope, or better yet, start your own collection point at work or uni and encourage all your mates to donate as well.

Donate your old glasses to OneSight

Have you wondered what you can do with your old prescription glasses that no longer help you see, or make you see red because they are a bit ugly? Here is the solution: donate them to a good cause. Each year OneSight recycles 'gently' used eyeglasses and redistributes them worldwide through their global clinics.

Drop off your old glasses at any Laubman & Pank, OPSM, Sunglass Hut or Budget Eyewear.

Something bigger to donate?
Hey, you'll never know if you don't ask. Perhaps you have a car, motorbike, boat or piece of art that you wish to donate to charity. Donate A Car is an Australian-wide organisation that will sell your car (or boat or Picasso) at the local Pickles auction yard and then donate all the proceeds to the charity of your choice.

Not only will you not have to worry about selling the car privately, or getting an awful price as a trade-in, you will be a warm fuzzy feeling about helping others and giving your car a new lease of life.

Getting the chop? Donate your hair

If you have looked through the list and you have nothing to give, then consider giving a part of yourself. Literally. While it might be a big ask to give an organ (although if you have a spare kidney, donate it here) donating your hair is painless and goes to a good cause.

The Beautiful Lengths campaign is supported by Pantene and ensures that your lovely long hair (it must be at least 20cm) is made into a stunning wig and given to women in Australia and New Zealand who have lost their hair due to cancer. Click here to find out more details and then simply post it in.

Other Ways to Donate
Give Now is an Australian portal that makes it easy to give whatever you have to the people who need it most. If you wish to donate something that I haven't mentioned, chances are Give Now knows where it will be needed. Charities are seeking everything from food to electrical equipment and from corks to blankets.

Blood: the situation is dire and you can donate blood every twelve weeks at the Red Cross.

Blankets: donate your warm blankets in good condition to the winter homeless appeal, or give your lesser condition blankets to the kitten rescue organisation.

Old Computers: feel better about getting your new iThing by giving away your old computer to a range of fantastic charities.
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Why? because it feels good to help (but sometimes you don’t have cash)
Where: Across Brisbane and Queensland
Your Comment
Specsavers also offers a Recycle for Sight program. If you want to donate old glasses in any condition it's a good idea to check with your local store!
by un_pu (score: 1|11) 2213 days ago
Another great article, Shannon. Fabulous ideas for giving.
by Geraldine Massey (score: 3|8170) 2745 days ago
Looking to donate lots of used USB sticks that have been reformatted. Situated in Brisbane.
by lynn (score: 0|5) 1909 days ago
Where can I donate material that I have not used to a group who sew for the needy
by jacks (score: 0|5) 1514 days ago
Where can I donate bikes which are quite good but need a few repairs to charity?
by gruss (score: 0|6) 2746 days ago
Great article with some unique ideas!
by Erin (score: 2|558) 2747 days ago
Very enlightening article. Didn't know I could give hair or bras!
by jayne (score: 0|4) 2744 days ago
Fantastic article Shannon!
by Clare DeVille (score: 2|293) 2748 days ago
looking to donate lots of pieces of material. could be used for sewing outfits or making toys.
by jenny (score: 0|2) 2142 days ago
Is any where i can donate the shoe with good condition???
Anyway can donate for Africa ???
by tsai2 (score: 0|2) 1663 days ago
Where can I donate material that I have not used to a group who sew for the needy
by jacks (score: 0|5) 1514 days ago
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