The holidays are the perfect time to express gratitude for what we have and to assist those who may be experiencing a need, and the New Orleans and St. Tammany area offers plenty of holiday donation sites for those wanting to make a difference. Whether food, clothing, or household items, many of us have items to spare, and a quick holiday clean-out not only frees up space in our homes, but may also make someone else’s holiday a little brighter. Here are a few tips for a successful donation experience.
Clothing and Household Items
Prior to donating, check all pockets for items you may have failed to remove previously.
Avoid donating unwashed or heavily soiled clothing items, as well as clothing with obvious tears or damage.
Blue jeans are a very popular item, and most donation sites are in need of them.
Belts, purses, shoes, and other accessories are important, especially for charities that are providing apparel for individuals who will be interviewing for a job.
Bath towels, blankets, sheets, etc. are important items that are generally overlooked by those donating.
Clothing Donation Sites
The Vietnam Veterans of America accept clothing, household items, and small furniture. Donated items generate the majority of the funding to support local, state, and national programs of the Vietnam Veterans of America. Trucks run daily and you can schedule an easy pickup from your home. http://www.pickupplease.org/
Dress for Success New Orleans provides professional attire for women in need of clothing for job interviews and to wear in the workplace. https://neworleans.dressforsuccess.org/
Bridge House/Grace House provides treatment to men and women who have become dependent on alcohol or drugs so that they may lead sober and productive lives. They will pick up items from your home, including clothing, furniture and household items. http://www.bridgehouse.org/support-us/thrift-stores/
The Samaritan Center’s thrift shop, Gran’s Attic, located in Mandeville, takes drop off donations of clothing and small household items. The proceeds are used to support the food bank and ministry which helps Lacombe and Mandeville residents who are experiencing emergencies. http://samcen.org/grans-attic.html
Find out what is needed prior to making a donation. Popular items include peanut butter, canned meats, cereals, macaroni and soups.
Check expiration dates on all items and throw out those which have expired.
Avoid glass containers and damaged packaging, minimizing the possibility of messy leaks or spills.
Never donate foods which must be kept cold or frozen, as there will likely be no place to store these items, and they will have to be thrown out.
Food Donation Sites
Second Harvest Food Bank, the largest charitable anti-hunger network in South Louisiana, provides food access, advocacy, education, and disaster response to those in need. http://no-hunger.org/donate-food/
The Covington Food Bank provides food assistance to more than 375 individuals and families each week who have found themselves in need in the Northshore area. http://covingtonfoodbank.org/donate-food
The Samaritan Center offers emergency food assistance for those in need in the area. http://samcen.org/food-bank.html
These are just a few of the organizations accepting donations in the area. Most organizations also appreciate monetary gifts, which can easily be made online.