Sort, Junk, Donate – (Weekly Unplugged Project)

By , November 16, 2008 8:16 pm

This week’s Unplugged Project was a little different.  After mentioning my massive sorting project, by popular demand the theme became Sort-Junk-Donate.  Hopefully this theme inspired many out there to tackle those piles around the house.  Whether it be toys, clothes, or just plain junk, we all need to purge from time to time.

Or maybe you recycled some throw-aways into art?  I look forward to your projects.

As for me, I’ll simply show you a picture of what we donated so far.  There is more on the way, but the photo above is the bulk of it. (Georgio Armani the cat is NOT a giveaway of course!)

Plus, a few awards!!

My oldest daughter wins the award for The Strangest Item Found:  In her closet I found a plastic food storage container full of brown sugar.

My 2 year-old daughter wins the award for The Least Number of Stuffed Animals donated:  0 (although she did part with some toys).

My son wins the award for The Most Toys Donated (aka. The Unexpected Generosity Award):  I didn’t count, but he even gave away his fancy space station to a friend who always played with it when he came over.

Of course you can donate to your local thrift store, but here are a few links to help you figure out a more original way to pass on no longer needed new, like-new or gently-used items:

New = New, tag-on

Like-new = No tag, but good enough to give as a gift

Gently-used = used, but still in great condition

  • Samaritan’s Purse (Christian Relief Organization):  Pack a Christmas shoe box of small new items for children “in desperate situations” around the world.  Hurry up because this year’s deadline for drop-off is November 17-24. (Many thanks to Karen B. for this idea!)
  • Project Night Night:  Donates comfort tote bags to children ages 0-10 in homeless shelters.  Each bag contains a security blanket, stuffed animal, and age-appropriate book.  They take new blankets (handmade or cribsize), new stuffed animals, or new/like-new books, store gift cards (even if only a few dollars left), fleece or flannel fabric.  Be sure to read the guidelines for items to be donated and drop-off/mail-in locations here.
  • Books for America:  Donates to Washington DC area schools, libraries, homeless shelters and hospitals.  Provides underpriveleged kids with their first take-home books.  Accepts new or like-new books (but NO HARDCOVER FICTION), movies (DVD or VHS), CD’s, audiobooks, and collectible items that can be auctioned.  Children’s books are urgently needed.  Please see here for donation guidelines and locations (drop-off and ship-to).
  • Books for Africa:  Sends books to rural African schools and libraries.  Gently used textbooks can be hard to find homes for, but Books for Africa wants textbooks (no more than 15 years old), as well as popular fiction and non-fiction (hard and softcover), encyclopedias and dictionaries 1995 and newer, new school supplies.  There is also a list of what not to send, so please check here first.
  • Shoe4Africa:  Accepts new and gently-used running shoes.  Shoes must have at least another 100 miles of running in them!  Shoes should be sent via AIRMAIL ONLY to Kenya.  Instructions are here.
  • Send new or gently used stuffed animals and toys to Iraq:  Here is an address for someone stationed in Iraq who wants used stuffed animals and toys to distribute to poor children there.  I found this on Google and know nothing more, but I offer the link here!
  • Old computers and other electronics:  Find a list of places to donate for reuse or recycling at the US Environmental Protection Agency.  I just found out I can send back my ancient Nokia cell phone for free with a prepaid shipping label that I can print out.  Who knew?
  • The Help Kenya Project:  Based in Westchester, NY.  Accepts computers (and accessories), books, clothing, sports equipment, and more.  Please see the website and contact them for more information.
  • Foster children often must transport their meager belongings in garbage bags.  Here is more information on how to collect and donate luggage.  Consider donating suitcases or duffel bags to your local foster care agency or homeless shelter.
  • Also, don’t forget to check locally.  Google something like “used computers San Francisco donate” and see what you come up with.  Substitute what you want to donate and your area.
  • Of course for good-condition book donations there is always also your local library or schools (especially those in low-income areas).
  • Garage sale for your favorite charity?  If you have the energy, then give that a go!

If anyone else has a favorite place for donating “stuff,” please share your idea in a comment.


If you participated in this week’s Unplugged Project theme of Sort-Junk-Donate, then please leave the link to your project rather than just your blog in Mr. Linky below.  That way we’ll all be able to find your project, forever and ever!  If you didn’t participate, but are interested in learning more, then read about it all here and consider joining in next week.


Next week’s Unplugged Project theme will be more like the usual kind:


We did this one last year for the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday.  I don’t really like to repeat, but since it is probably advisable to think about being thankful at least once a year no matter what country you reside in, I will repeat the theme.  We’ll do something new though!

21 Responses to “Sort, Junk, Donate – (Weekly Unplugged Project)”

  1. Tamara says:

    Thanks for the list of ideas. It really helps to know who to contact. I haven’t commented much lately but I am still reading.

    Tamaras last blog post..Grocery Wrap-Up : 30 days of Nothing

  2. […] 17, 2008 in Family, Kids Crafts This week was full of sorting, cleaning and putting things aside to donate to the Parent Pages Rummage Sale. The main motivation for all this cleaning was Jaylene’s […]

  3. Those awards were halarious ;) Thanks for the list of links too.

    Julie K in Taiwans last blog post..Jaylene’s 7th Birthday

  4. shawna says:

    I didn’t get to do this week’s project, but one of my favorite blogs, soulemama ( has just started a project called mamatomama ( where you can make very very easy blankets and caps out of old tshirts and sheets, which she will send to Haiti to help reduce one of the highest instances of maternal infant mortality rates in the western hemisphere. It’s a great way to repurpose things that might not be fit for donation, and perhaps a great starter project for anyone new to sewing!

    shawnas last blog post..Superhero Challenge: Treasure hunt

  5. Amanda says:

    Great to see Samaritan’s Purse being mentioned. : )

    Amandas last blog post..Lessons Learnt at a Market

  6. This was a tough one for us. My son was having a bad week and decided he was emotionally attached to everything. Even suggesting we get rid of outgrown Halloween costumes caused a lot of crying.

  7. Dawn says:

    Thanks for all of the great places to pick from. As former foster parents I can tell you that every child we ever had came with trash bags of stuff or nothing at all. Thanks to donations from family and friends all of our foster kids were able to leave with a suitcase. That is accept the two we got to adopt and keep forever. :) I hope to get my post up soon but my photo card is giving me trouble.

    Dawns last blog post..Show and Tell Friday ~ Our week

  8. Heather says:

    That is a great list that you put together. I have been trying to come up with some ideas for the boys to do. An idea that I was told about is if you have a stack of old newspaper that you keep meaning to recycle but never get to. Danate it to an animal shelter. They can always us it.

    Heathers last blog post..Unplug Project

  9. KateinNJ says:

    I love those awards!
    P and I are in again this week…I have
    been de-cluttering like crazy.

    KateinNJs last blog post..Celebrate Geography Awareness Week

  10. Rebecca says:

    I’ve started a major overhaul of my entire house. I’s liberating!

    Rebeccas last blog post..Sort, Purge, Clean!

  11. warillever says:

    I am so behind on blog reading that I didn’t even know what this week’s theme was. I just happened to be posting on just this topic today. Gotta love coincidences like that :)

    I have a *lot* more decluttering to do, so I will probably check back to see if we can donate to any of the causes that you mentioned.

    warillevers last blog post..My Favorite Store

  12. Alicia says:

    The list of charities is great! Our city is doing the Soles4Shoes one this month (or a similar one). For most things we just donate to a local thrift or the domestic abuse shelter (they can always use some of those stockpiled hotel soaps and shampoos especially, plus nice toys and clothes for the women and kids). This is a good time of year to be thinking of all of these folks and it goes right along with being thankful. :) Thanks!

    Alicias last blog post..Unplugged Project: Donating for Dollars

  13. Angie in GA says:

    Your donation list is awesome!! THank you soooo much for sharing all that information. Would you mind if I passed it along? Thanks again for all your weekly ideas and for the motivation to get the kids unplugged!! Be Blessed–Angie in GA

  14. We are thankful to be listed among your worthy efforts! We appreciate children’s books, school supplies, and novels (tell your book group!!!)
    We are also a great source for service-learning projects (church group, girl/ boy scouts, home-schoolers, etc.)
    My son had a “Books For Africa” birthday party, and we collected many great books and one dollar per book for donation to Books For Africa, instead of MORE plastic toys for our house.
    Please contact me for more information, and thank you for wanting to end the African book famine!
    Carole Patrikakos, Books For Africa 651-602-9844,

  15. Jenny says:

    I love your awards! I don’t think I could have gotten CJ to donate any animals, either! Despite the fact that we NEED to do some sorting and donating due to the new arrival, we didn’t- last weekend, anyway. Thanks for the list of places to donate to, though- we’ll have to finish soon!

    Jennys last blog post..At Last…Books!

  16. Andamom says:

    Last year, I wrote a post listing many of my favorite charities (

    I’m a big fan of uncluttering and donating what I don’t need to charity as you’ve probably noticed from my past postings. Aside from things I donate to Salvation Army and other charities, I seek out things that I can use for a goods drive at work (I did drives this year for eyeglasses, work attire, cell phones, children’s books, coins, and school supplies). When possible, I donate proceeds from these good to the needy public school we support.

    Andamoms last blog post..Grades are relative and there has to be a better method of comparison.

  17. Heather says:

    Great article! I love the suitcase donation idea!

    Heathers last blog post..Listen to the Story of My First Zine on Hello Craft Podcast

  18. Nina says:

    This was such a wonderful post. I just reread it from my Google Reader for ideas. In the end, I think it is easiest for me to donate to the Goodwill. I figure my donations will make someone as happy as I am when I find something there.

    Ninas last blog post..Monday Seven

  19. […] – Dejunk your house, or a room of your house.  Eliminating and organizing stuff might not always be fun, but it leaves you with a lightness of spirit when you are done.  Here’s a post with some ideas for what to do with your cast-offs:  Sort, Junk, Donate. […]

  20. […] more inspiration as well as some ideas for where to donate your cast-offs,  read my old post Sort, Junk, Donate.  Good […]

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