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How to Prepare Your Items for Donation

The world of home goods and clothing donations is changing. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, how we go about packing up and dropping off donations has changed. As individuals, we try to keep everything clean and airtight, and as employees, we strive to uphold standards and practices the government regulates. However, what doesn’t change is the importance of donations. Even more so lately, donations benefit people and organizations on the East Coast and across the nation. Put your spring purging to good use and look here to learn how to prepare your items for donation. Most of these steps are ones you should follow despite the pandemic.

Wash Clothes Before Packing

You may not be able to completely sanitize your clothes before donating, but you can—and should—still clean them. Put any clothes you want to donate in the wash before packing them up. Use bleach when you can, and once they’re washed, try to wear gloves or limit touch when transferring the items to the dryer and the container.

Wipe Down Home Goods Before Packing

Similarly, the home goods and other items you donate should also be wiped down with a disinfectant. Pots and pans, small appliances, electronics—these should all be thoroughly wiped down. If you’re thinking about donating toys, we’d suggest washing when possible. If you don’t think there’s a great way to sanitize the item, hold off on donating for a while! The health of others involved in the donation process is essential.

Store in an Airtight Container

Once you’ve cleaned all the items for donation, try to store them in an airtight container. Though plastic bags are often used, and you still can use them, the ideal route for cleanliness is some sort of airtight container. That said, if you don’t have one, garbage bags and cardboard boxes will also do the trick! Just ensure you’re limiting touch or wearing gloves when you’re packing up.

Wear Gloves

Wearing gloves is key to preparing your items for donation! Though this wasn’t a necessity before COVID-19, it is a big part of cleanliness now. Throughout the process of packing up and dropping off donations, we strongly suggest wearing gloves. The less contact you have with the items you donate, the better.

Look Into Drop-Off Location Regulations

Different charitable organizations have different regulations set in place now when it comes to donating. GreenDrop in particular is not currently picking up donations, but we have a few drop-off locations opened and ready for you. We have precautionary procedures set in place for the safety of our donors and our employees—take a look at these before you drop-off!

At GreenDrop, you can choose to donate your items (which we turn into monetary donations) to four different organizations—the American Red Cross, the Military Order of the Purple Heart, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and the National Federation of the Blind. We want to support our community, and when you donate to us, that’s what you’ll do as well. Bring your clothing donation to Franklin Mills or one of our other locations now!

A Short Guide to Apartment Donation Pick-Up

When you live in a small space like an apartment, any extra clutter can make your home seem much smaller than it is. To combat that problem, make sure to clean out and donate unused items as often as necessary so that you can fully maximize your space.

Where do I go to donate? Or who’s going to pick it up? These are questions you may be running into once you actually sort through things and made your donation pile.

In the past, donating from an apartment was a bit tougher than donating from a home. Because more often than not, charity organizations that pick-up donations wouldn’t come to apartments. Thankfully, with organizations like GreenDrop, that issue has shifted and started to absolve. So, if you don’t want to take all of your things to a GreenDrop drop-off location, take a look at this short guide to apartment donation pick-up—you won’t want to miss it!

Steps to Take for Apartment Donation Pick-Up

Compile Your Donations

Your first step to an apartment donation pick-up is compiling your items. You should make sure clothes fit nicely in plastic bags and breakables are wrapped in newspapers before placing them in boxes. This will make it easier on those picking up your donations. If you hope to give away furniture, most organizations will only pick up smaller pieces, like lamps and wooden chairs. The easier you make it for someone to pick up your items, the more donations they’ll likely be able to take.

It’s also a good idea to reach out to neighbors and other apartment residents to see if they have anything to donate. A large amount of donations neatly placed in one area makes it more likely for a truck to pick up your things.

Talk to Your Property Manager

That said, you should talk to your property manager before donating. See if they can organize something, or even talk to the donation pick-up organization to see if there’s a specific area they would like to pick up. Better yet, your property manager could end up setting up a monthly pick-up date and time with GreenDrop. This will allow for everyone to place their donations at the designated spot, which makes it easier for the pick-up person.

Schedule a Pick-Up

Finally, once you’ve talked to the property manager, either you or they can call GreenDrop or go online to schedule a donation pick-up. Make sure that all of the donations are out there in a timely manner on the day of pick-up. That way, you’ll know that your donations will be picked up and are on their way to help out national charitable organizations.

If you have any questions about GreenDrop and setting up an apartment donation pick-up, call us now at (888)-944-3767, or email us at Happy donating!

10 Wonderful Ways for Kids to Give Back to Their Community

Parents have to teach their children a lot. They try to get their children to understand the importance of sharing, how to be brave, how to love themselves and those around them—the list goes on. Two traits we think children, parents—everyone—should have are generosity and compassion. Few people would say these are bad traits to have, but they can prove more difficult to teach.

If you want your children to acquire these traits, then teach them about charitable giving. This idea not only grows their generosity muscle, but these acts of charitable giving will also help them become more aware of those in need and their ability to help those in need. If that’s something you’re interested in, take a look at these different ways for kids to give back to their community. These activities and actions will help foster and encourage charitable giving, and it will teach them to support those around them. You’ll probably find these acts will also teach them other important lessons. Read on for more ideas!

Donate Clothes

A great way to teach to your children about charitable giving is from the simple act of donating clothes. Spend some time as a family going through closets and donating clothes you haven’t worn in a while. Better yet, go out to the store and buy some new jackets, hats, scarves, and other essential winter items so that your children also understand the importance of giving new items. Remember, this charitable action can be as simple as leaving your clothes donation box outside for GreenDrop to pick up!

Plant a Tree (or More)

We love the idea of supporting the environment, and so will your kids. Spend some time planting a few trees in your backyard or even on their school’s grounds (if you get permission). This will help your child learn the importance of protecting the environment and show them how it can start with them!

Donate Unused/Unwanted Toys

Another great donation area for kids apart from clothing is in the realm of toys. Just like clothing donations help out those in need and offer a simple way to give back to the community, donating toys will hit a little closer to home for the kiddos. If you tell them that these toys will help those who may not have any toys at all, they’re sure to respond!

Give Books to Local Hospitals or Daycares

Similar to clothing and toy donations, book donations provide another great way to spread kindness and creativity. Have your children go through their books and decide which ones they don’t think they’ll read again. Then you and your children can bring those books to a local hospital or daycare. Letting your kids see the joy that comes to other’s faces will showcase what an impact they have on someone else’s mood!

Start a School Recycling Program

Your kids learn a lot at school, so why not help them teach others by starting a school recycling program. This is a great project to have them do with other kids their age, and it will help them see the power in giving back as a group. Talk with the school to see whether this is okay before they begin!

Hold a Collection Drive

This collection drive can be for a variety of items. You can collect glass bottles for recycling, or you can collect mittens for those in need—the list is seemingly endless. What your kids get from it, however, is what really counts. These drives will teach them about the importance of following through, and it will show them the beauty of giving back to the community with the help of the community.

Make Handmade Cards

A great way for younger kids to give back to the community as well is to create handmade cards. These cards can come in many forms; have them write thank-you cards for local servicemen or get well soon cards for hospital residents. This idea can help show children that even the smallest gestures can make an impact.

Set Up a Blessing Box

Pulling the idea from the mother and son pair that created a blessing box in Kansas, this is a powerful way to give back to the community, and it’s also quite simple. Similar to the free little libraries where people can take a book and leave a book, these boxes offer necessities to those in need. These can include anything from free food to hygiene products and anything else. It’s a great way to help out those in need without the pressure of heading to a soup kitchen.

Do Chores or Yard Work for Neighbors

Helping out the community can be as easy as walking over to the neighbors and asking if they need help with anything. Growing that generosity muscle often means starting small with something that won’t intimidate your children—helping out the neighbors is just that. Your children can assist with simple chores neighbors may need help completing. During the winter, shoveling snow is another great way to give back to the community.

Be a Buddy

Finally, our last way for kids to give back to their community is simply by being a friend. School is tough for a lot of people, so help foster your child’s compassion by encouraging them to sit with those who sit alone or by befriending a child with special needs. Just being a buddy to someone else in class is a way to give back, spread joy, and foster compassion. If you can show them that these steps will help the community, and fill their hearts, the better chance you have of them following through on these activities.

Now, these are just a few ways to give back to the community and foster your child’s generosity and compassion. However, there are tons of other acts that can bring that same feeling of joy and accomplishment—try some out with your kids as well! When you finish up those collection drives and compiled donations, turn to GreenDrop. We’ll make sure that your donations turn into necessary support for your chosen charity. One step, and one act, at a time will help generosity flourish in your children!

10 Wonderful Ways for Kids to Give Back to Their Community infographic

Understanding the Free White Cane Program

One of the four main charities we support is the wonderful National Federation of the Blind. As we discussed in a previous blog, this organization answered the need for a national organization to support blind people across the country. And just like they answered that need, they also answered the call for programs and services the blind needed. We delve into understanding the Free White Cane Program—one of the Federation’s most necessary services. Learn more below!

What It Is

In its most simple sense, many people who are blind or visually impaired use the white canes that the NFB provides. The canes help the user to scan their current surroundings for any obstacles or orientation marks. But even deeper than that, these canes allow blind people to achieve a life as full and independent as possible.

The NFB created this program in hopes that no blind person would ever be without a white cane—no matter their financial abilities. Due to this program, NFB has distributed more than 64,000 free white canes.

How to Receive a Cane

Better yet, requesting a free white cane is quite simple. All you need to do is fill out the Federations application and email it to their office. The application includes some basic personal information, such as name and address, but also requires you to figure out your cane sizing. Basic starter canes should measure from armpit-to-floor, where seasoned travelers should measure chin-to-floor. Since the cane needs to reach out about two steps in front of where you’re stepping, these measurements ensure you receive the best sizing—here’s the application!

How to Support

If you want to support the Federation’s goals to help blind people across the country, there are a few different ways you can do so. For the NFB to continue to distribute these free white canes, provide Braille instruction, and more, they rely on the generosity of their supporters. You can support by donating online, by phone or by mail. You can also partner with GreenDrop and turn your clothing donations in Delaware into monetary donations to the Federation.

At GreenDrop, we strive to support our four chosen charities in the best way possible. When you schedule clothing donation pick-ups and drop-offs, you’ll help the National Federation of the Blind continue to provide for those who need it. Donate today!

Season of Giving: Important Items to Donate This Winter

The winter is a harsh time for people with money to spare, let alone for those who struggle. This year, help out those in need by donating essential items to those in need. Whether you donate your time or some of the items on the list below, your donation positively impacts those in your community. Take a look at these important items to donate this winter—compassion during this time of year will help both you and those in need.

Winter Clothing and Accessories

The first thing that comes to mind when coming up with items to donate is clothing. For good reason, clothes are one of the main things charities and organizations want donated. Donate your unused or winter clothing and accessories. A lot of people need these items for survival, so do your part and donate what you can! A few examples of great items to donate include the following:

  • Winter coats
  • Heavy jackets
  • Scarves, hats, and mittens
  • Sweaters
  • Snow pants

School Supplies

Another very important thing to donate that many people forget about this time of year is school supplies. Most people donate their school supplies at the beginning of the year, and they forget about how vital it is to have these supplies all year long. Donate for both children and adults who need these supplies—a few key items include:

  • Pens and pencils
  • Notebooks
  • Folders
  • Binders

Blankets, Sheets, And Towels

Don’t forget about how nice it is to have a nice bed to come home to after a long, cold day. Make the chill easier on those in need by donating blankets, comforters, sheets, and towels. When you don’t know what to donate in the winter, think about the basics of keeping warm. Donate these items as soon and as often as you can.

Socks and Boots

Other great options for donations are your socks and boots. We recommend donating new socks so that those in need have something nice and fresh to step into, but if not, just try to make sure that the socks are in good condition. Socks and boots are fantastic donate during the winter, and sadly people don’t donate them very often. So, when you can, try to donate your socks and shoes whenever possible—especially kid’s shoes.

Baby Clothing

Last on our list is baby clothing. Just like it’s important to donate winter clothing for adults and children, don’t forget about the little ones this year. Baby and newborn clothing are particularly important during the winter. Their little bodies need as much warmth as they can get, so donate items like jackets, onesies, hats, gloves, thick pants, and more items suitable for this age range.

When you donate these items this year, turn to GreenDrop. We pick up a myriad of things, from household donations pick up to clothing donation drop off. We’ll make sure your donations turn into money that supports your favorite charities—donate now!