Common Items You Should Never Donate to Charity

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Old item donations are great because they allow you to give things to those who need them more than you. You can get rid of possessions you don’t use. However, not everything you might want to get rid of is useable, and you need to consider what you donate carefully. You don’t want to create extra work for those who sort through donations and find things that don’t belong. We’ll give you a few common items you should never donate to charity because they tend to become unusable in the long run.

Unusable Clothing

While clothing of all kinds frequently finds its way into our donation bins, there’s a limit to what you can donate. Not all clothes are fit for a donation. Specifically, you want to avoid any clothes that simply aren’t usable anymore. Large stains, big rips, tears, holes, missing buttons—all of these things make clothing much less attractive as a donation option. Consider recycling these clothes instead, as they won’t be of much use to someone who wants to wear them.

Recalled Items

One common item type you should never donate to charity is anything that has a recall or a safety concern regarding it. An example of this is a malfunctioning children’s car seat. You wouldn’t want to inadvertently put anyone else in danger by providing them with a defective product. Most charities can’t take these items anyway.

Older Electronics

Older electronics, including televisions, computers, and phones, aren’t ideal donations for a couple of different reasons. In some cases, older electronics have hazardous materials inside them that many charities can’t redistribute. In other cases, the technology is too old to be useful anymore and won’t actually do people any good. The best thing to do with old electronics is to take them to an e-waste recycler for proper recycling.


It might seem like a good idea to try and provide another bed for someone to sleep on when you get a new mattress in your room. While the sentiment is understandable, mattresses come with a host of problems that make them difficult to reuse. A large part of this lies in sanitary concerns, and mattresses can hide many things that could cause harm to another person.

GreenDrop knows you want to give in the most effective way possible. If you have donations for the St. Vincent De Paul Society, we can facilitate those donations to make the biggest impact. Give us a call for more information on how you can help.

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