Christmas and the start of a New Year ahead often result in people thinking about others around them, making it the perfect time of year to also show your support to local charities in your community.  This is also a great time of year to clear your home of clutter and excess items, especially if you have family members that tend to go a bit overboard during holiday shopping events.

While most charities plan their annual budgets around monetary donations, there are many others that solicit donations of products, especially around the holidays. These are some of the donation items that charities need the most in order to help those in need.

  1. Clothing – Your clothing items that you’ve only worn a few times are a handy item to donate to many charities. While some charities such as Goodwill and the Salvation Army take all type of clothing donations year round, other charities prefer only seasonal items. Especially in the winter months, you can often find coat and warm clothing drives which allow you to send your gently-used warm clothes to a new home.
    Pile Of Clothes
  2. Hair – While you may not think about what happens to your hair after you get it cut, there are a lot of people who can benefit from your cast-off locks. If you donate hair to the appropriate charity, it can be made into wigs to help women and girls undergoing chemotherapy or other medical treatments. Your hair can make them feel a little more normal during their treatment.
  3. Toys – During the holidays, a number of charities put on toy drives to ensure that all children get something under the tree for Christmas. Most charities prefer unopened or new toys. However, if you have a gently used item that is in high demand, it may also be acceptable. Any used toys you donate should be washed and refurbished to look like new.
  4. Food – Food drives are most often hosted by grocery stores and houses of worship. Most drives prefer non-perishable items such as canned or dehydrated goods. However, those who want to donate are also advised to give a variety of items, such as packaged milk, soup mix and dried beans in addition to the more commonly donated canned vegetables.
    Food drive
  5. Toiletries  – While many people don’t think about them as often as they do clothing and food, toiletries are another useful donation item for those in need. Because they often go overlooked by charities and donors, items like shampoo, soap and detergent can be in short supply for the people who need them the most. In especially high demand are feminine hygiene products which are a necessity for women, though often sold at a higher price point than people in need can easily afford.


In addition to these specific items, if you are looking to get rid of high quality items that you no longer use, consider donating them to charity. They can easily find a new life helping out the people who need them the most.

Do you support any charities or volunteer your time during the holidays? If so, what are your favorite charities?