Prior to students moving out of their St. Louis housing as the academic year came to an unusual close, we surveyed local non-profit agencies to see who was accepting donations and to learn more about what they needed. As a result of the health and economic burdens created by the COVID-19 pandemic, these agencies are working harder than ever, often with fewer resources, to meet the growing need in our community. Over 50 organizations responded to the survey, with a subset shared here that are accepting individual drop off donations from the public.
Students are encouraged to connect with one or more of these agencies to put to use some of the belongings they do not wish to depart with.
This is also a great resource for others in the St. Louis Community who have been doing spring cleaning and de-cluttering to pass the time.
Tips for Donating Responsibly
The COVID-19 pandemic has stretched everyone thin, so be mindful of the conditions under which organizations are working. Be prepared to be flexible and make an effort to support the organization not just with your donation, but also with how you engage with them.
Organizations that sell second-hand items in a retail setting are overwhelmed by both the volume of materials coming to their stores or drop off locations, but also with the challenges of moving products in a restricted retail environment. For this reason, consider starting with the agencies doing direct service for the time being. Other tips:
- Only donate the types of items or materials that the organization has requested or approved.
- If a condition is specified, respect the parameters.
- Don’t drop and run – some organizations that normally accept donations are pausing or stopping drop offs because they are overwhelmed with materials or don’t have the capacity to move them. Check in advance to verify they are accepting items. If you arrive and see signage indicating that donations are not being accepted, do not leave your belongings behind for them to deal with.
- While many organizations are grateful for your donation of “stuff”, they also appreciate funds to support their work. If it’s within your means, consider a cash donation too!