Time for a little spring cleaning or any-season cleaning? Or even gearing up for a renovation? Ready for out with the old, but you hate to waste perfectly good stuff?
Donating is a great way to clear space in your life, help others, and spare the environment a bit by keeping worn but good items out of the dump.
Here are a few places to donate in Queens -- everything from toys to the kitchen sink. Got other suggestions for donations? Please see the comments link below.
This family shelter houses more than 250 families in a former hotel near JFK, on busy Rockaway Boulevard. The inn provides daycare, classrooms, a computer lab, a library, after-school programs, and a playground. The friendly staff will accept your donations at the front door. This is a great place to donate because they need something for everyone in the family: clothes, toys, games, computers, strollers, school supplies.
Find more Queens family shelters at NYC.gov.
Astoria, NY 11102, 718-777-0132
Build It Green! NYC accepts building materials, appliances, water heaters, flooring, sinks, cabinets...whatever makes a house a house. The group takes salvaged and surplus materials then sells the items at its retail outlet in Astoria at a big discount. Its proceeds go to Solar One, a solar-powered green-energy education center. Check out Build It Green's site for donation criteria -- they even graciously accept gold bullion!
Just because your cat ignored all the scratching posts you brought home doesn't mean you should toss them. Donate pet supplies to this Queens-based nonprofit that rescues stray and abused dogs and cats -- and saves the ones from death row at New York City kill shelters.
Long Island City, NY 11101, 718-729-3001
This NYC institution, run by the Department of Cultural Affairs, has been around for 30 years. It moved its warehouse to LIC in 2001. Accepted donations include everything from paintbrushes to pianos to office chairs. This items are redistributed to NYC public schools and nonprofit arts and cultural organizations.
Donate your books -- you know you're never going to open them again. Check the Queens Public Library site for your local branch and call the community library manager or assistant library manager before you go in.
The Old Stand-bys and a New Online Community
If you're interested in donating food, the NYC Coalition Against Hunger has a list of food pantries in Queens.
The online network Freecycle has a Queens group. Post items you want to give away, and read the wish lists of other members -- maybe you have exactly what they're looking for.