Local Donation Ideas

Updated: Aug 17

Since we are local to the San Francisco area, we thought we’d put together a small guide for our community on good donation centers as well as pick up and delivery options. In no way is this list extensive and we would love to hear from you if you have found other great options in the area.

Bear with us as this is a long post since there is so much to cover in regards to donations. If you don’t have time to read it in its entirety, feel free to scan for the bolded links.

Lugg is a great service for anyone who has items at point A and needs to get them to point B. Bought a new shelf you’re ready to organize but didn’t think of how to get it home? They do that. Junk removal? Just snap them a picture and schedule your pickup. Donation pile ready to send in? Yup, they cover that too. You can schedule for same-day assistance or as far out as 30 days in advance with their handy app.

Base charge starts at $30 but you can get a more personalized estimate right from their website based on what you need assistance with, where it’s going, and what Lugg service package you need (a truck, a van, 1 Lugg helper or 2).

Remoov is an incredibly handy service if you are clearing out your home or office, bulky items included. They not only help you donate and/or recycle your no-longer-needed items but they also offer a consignment option if you think your items are in good enough shape to fetch a pretty penny. You can schedule an in-home appointment or upload an image of your items for Remoov to review. They will work with you to price out an estimate for picking up and moving your items. You can get a great sense of their pricing from their interactive estimate page where you can see how much space on their 24-foot truck your things will take up. Yup, they have up to 24-foot truck you can full to the brim (if needed). Pickup minimums start at $199 and if you are disposing/recycling of anything with Remoov, it is an additional $1.50 per cubic foot of your disposable good.

*Be aware that a lot of recycle stations do charge a fee for your drop-off items, so that may get added to your invoice. And a good reminder to always research your dropoff location in advance to make sure you know their closing hours and what items they may not take - you don’t want to be stuck holding onto the bag...again!

Donation Town is a free website that lists local charities with whom you can schedule a donation pick-up. They have a directory with a range of charities from Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore to The Arc of San Francisco. You can look through their directory based on a charitable category you’re interested in supporting or you can enter your zip code to see what charity is nearby you can easily help. Once you’ve made the decision of who you’d like to donate your items to, the Donation Town website will give you all the information needed to contact your charity of choice to schedule a pickup. Donation Town adds new charity information to their page all the time and already has hundreds of charities listed. They not only service the San Francisco area but have information on nation-wide charities if you’re reading this from afar!

Of course there are some long standing charitable organizations who you can donate to in good faith. Your gently used items can be dropped off with a Goodwill location near you or you can schedule a pick-up within 7 days; they have even partnered with TaskRabbit so you can schedule a faster pickup (and with code GOODWILLSF you will get $10 off your first Task donation). Goodwill sells your gently used products to fund job training and job placement services to those unemployed in your area. As always, make sure to check out their accepted and exclusions list in advance of making an appointment. The Salvation Army is another long-standing and well known charity that accepts donations. Just like the Goodwill, you can find a local drop-off location or go online to schedule a pick-up. Your donated goods will be sold by the Salvation Army at one of their Family Stores to fund adult addiction rehabilitation. Your items get a second chance and you can help give someone in your community a second chance too. Both Goodwill and the Salvation Army are accessible nation-wide, not just for San Franciscans.

Another outstanding service you can choose to donate to is the United Cerebral Palsy of the Golden Gate. Your items will be sold to local thrift stores or responsibly recycled and the funds will be made available to help people with disabilities in your area. For those who want to make decluttering and organizing a habit more than once a year, you can enter your email onto UCP’s email list and you will be notified whenever they have a scheduled pickup through your neighborhood. With a few days of advanced notice, you can take a tour of your home and decide what is no longer serving you but can be donated to help serve those who need a helping hand. Curbside pickup for both San Francisco and Marin counties!

Or if you want to be mindful of our veterans in your charitable giving, the Vietnam Veterans of America offers scheduled curb-side pickup if you cannot make it to one of their drop off locations nearest you. Returning veterans and their families often have difficulty accessing the care and services they need once home. The VVA especially needs clothing/shoe donations of all types and sizes, for men, women, and children, but all household items are welcomed too. This could be a great organization to contribute too if you’re cleaning out your closet this season.

Another local spot looking for clothing donations any time of year is St. Anthony’s. St. Anthony's offers a free clothing program to those experiencing poverty and is San Francisco’s largest free clothing program. If you share your clean, like-new items with St. Anthony’s, you know your items will go directly to someone who needs them. Drop off your donations any day of the week, 9:00am to 2:00pm at 121 Golden Gate Ave.

If you are a Bay Area local, Buy Nothing (San Francisco) is a great Facebook group to check out. This is a private group you must request access into, but the wait isn’t long at all. The admin team will vet your answers to their quick entrance survey to make sure you really do live locally and plan to use the group as was intended. The rules are simple, all pick-ups and/or drop-offs must happen within the city and there is no buying or selling - just sharing! Cause you know what they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. This group is a great tool to learn more about your community and help your fellow neighbor.

Also for San Fran locals, The Community Thrift Store located on Valencia Street, accepts donations on behalf of their charity partners and you can select which from their list will receive the funds raised by the sale of your items. You can schedule online a pick-up Sunday through Thursday for large furniture items 2-4 weeks in advance with their furniture pick-up form and any smaller donations can be made in person everyday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (excludes holidays). This is a locally managed and run location that directly helps our community, so do be mindful with your gently used donations as any items that must be thrown away is an expense for CTS and therefore less that can be given to the charities they serve.

As a woman-founded and run company, we believe that lifting up women is a great way to lift the community. Women’s shelters are amazing spaces to provide support for with your unused items. La Casa de la Madres is a space of healing and support for domestic violence survivors. They work with the Community Thrift Store if you have gently used items you’d like to help fund this shelter, just let the store know with your donation. Or if you’ve come across unused items on their wishlist (ranging from self care items to food to home and office supplies), email donations@lacasa.org to let them know what you’re interested in donating.

Another consignment option, Out of the Closet, is known as the best kept secret in town and as a thrift store that donate 96 cents of every dollar made goes to HIV/AIDS services provided by AIDS Healthcare Foundation, they’re doing some darn good work. Items like clothing and household goods can be brought right to a local store and if you have 2 or more large items to donate, use their online form to schedule a pickup. While you’re at it, see if your local Out of the Closet Thrift offers free HIV testing - being tidy and organized is about living your best life, and being aware of your status and mindful of your overall health is part of living to the fullest.

And general reminder for those well intentioned and eager to donate all of their things...not everything is donatable and every charity is going to have different policies/exceptions. Some items, once used, become safety and/or sanitary concerns and should be recycled responsibly. And if you are successfully donating your items, always get a tax receipt; depending on the monetary value of what you’ve donated over the year, you can add theses itemized receipts to your taxes for a deduction.

And if all else fails and you cannot donate the items you no longer need, make sure you learn how to responsibly dispose of them. Every state and city will have their own recycle/disposal station, San Franciscans have the Recology Transfer Station at 501 Tunnel Ave. Hazardous waste, electronics or construction debris...they have proper procedures for all of that. They have a handy guide to help you successfully categorize your waste for removal and we highly recommend taking a peek before making the trip out there; you’ll learn how much your disposal will cost and what times you can bring your specific items down. Keeping our community clean and safe is their top priority and we’re so glad you’re making our community a priority too by reading through your options.

Contact Us for More Specific Help

We hope this helped and if you need help choosing between any of these options, want us to help manage your donations, finding a donation or recycling center, or determining how to categorize your no-longer-needed items, let us know. SortJoy is always here to help!

Contact us at 415-592-5786 or info@sortjoy.com.


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