[ADVERT]Sometimes you really want to give back, but you have no money to actually give.
Perhaps you have an old pair of prescription glasses lurking in the bathroom cupboard, or a pair of shoes you bought for work and only wore once? What about all those maternity bras you (hope to) never need again?
Thought you had nothing to give? You thought wrong.
Here is a list of some of the more unusual things you can donate.
Hair Yes, donating bits of your body is usually considered beyond the call (although if you have a spare kidney, consider donating it here) but chopping off your foot long mullet and donating it to sick kids helps the world in more ways than one. All hair donated (if it meets requirements) is made into wigs before being given to kids who have lost their hair due to cancer treatment. Organised by Variety, the donation of hair, can help change a child's life, and you can simply post it in.
Bras All women have at least one bra they never wear. It's either too big or too small, or maybe you just don't like leopard print anymore. Maybe you have finished having babies but still have some good quality nursing bras sitting at the back of the drawer.
Find these girls a new home and send them to Project Uplift who provide bras to women in need in third world countries and right on our own doorstep.
All bras but particularly nursing and maternity bras are needed for women for whom a bra is an unobtainable luxury. Bras can be dropped off a few locations across the city or posted to NSW Uplift, 17 Brentwood Ave, Warrawee NSW 2074.
All those books you bought to impress your rather brainy ex-girlfriend and are now gathering dust on the shelf? The ones that Oprah recommended? The ones with the silver tie on the cover?
Lifeline, who offer 24/7 telephone crisis support to over 1 million Australians every year, hold regular Bookfairs around the state, with the money raised going directly back into the training of crisis supporters. Books can be dropped off in the Lifeline bins or directly to Lifeline Shops and Bookfairs.
It's a sad fact that many of the clothes 'donated' by people in the big charity bins are either of poor quality or are left to ruin. Disposing of them, then cost the charities tens of thousands of dollars each year, wasting money that could be spent on families in need.
If you have some good quality and clean clothes to donate (babies, kids and adults) then spend a minute trying to find the most appropriate place for them. Click here for a list of NSW charities which need donations of clothes.
If your bike is still rideable then there are a number of charities in NSW who are looking for bikes, either for their work in Indigenous communities in Australia, or for disadvantaged people in third world countries. On yer bike! Get donating.
Let's have a quiz: how many mobile phones have you had since the mid-1990s? Where are they all? If you have a drawer full of them like me, it's time to pull them out and click here.
Taronga Zoo and the Aussie Recycling Program will use your old mobile phone to raise money for primate conservation. That's gorillas. You can either drop them off at any Sydney branch of the Bendigo Bank or click here for a free Reply-Paid form you can stick to an envelope.
If you're like me and have left the rat-race for the rug-rats then perhaps you have some nice business attire that no longer gets used.
Fitted For Work is a non-profit organisation that helps disadvantaged women (and migrants and ex-prisoners) get into the workforce by providing them with the skills, advice and clothing they need to apply for jobs, attend interviews and begin their new life. You can donate clothing, handbags, shoes and accessories.
Clothing can be dropped off weekdays at Suite 37/38a, 70 Phillip Street, Parramatta, or call on (02) 9365 9909.
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.
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.
Other things you can donate when you're broke:
Blood: the situation is dire and you can donate blood every twelve weeks at the Red Cross.
A great article, but it would be good to know where to donate clothes or textiles that are not suitable for re-wearing. And also where to buy products made from recycled textiles (e.g. cleaning rags or 'string').
Fantastic article, the less items to land fill the better, perhaps local Councils need to read this and stop kerb side pick up for lazy residents who can't be bothered. My hat goes off to citizens who care for the world they live in and reuse, recycle and better still repair.
I wish the groups I had phoned (several times) were more proactive when I was trying to donate my late husband's shirts, pants, ties, suits, shoes... he had some really top clothes and I know he would have preferred some bloke to have them for a job interview. Ended up putting them in the church bin and I have no idea if they ever got to the right men.
This is the most fantastic article - thankyou! I have worked in the 'charity' sector for more than 20 years, and so many wonderful people want to get involved and help - it's just finding the way that works for you, and there are some really terrific ideas here. Thankyou! J
Great article. Most helpful. Have donated wheelchairs, childs and adults, also bikes, have tried Mary Mackillop, waiting for answer. Any other charities that might need these items. Live on Central Coast, NSW.