This post brought to you by Africa’s Child Thrift Store.
I Have Too Much Stuff
It’s a never-ending situation I am constantly trying to get on top of. Four kids = a lot of outgrown clothes, toys, and … stuff. It’s embarrassing. Not because it’s a huge mess (though it is, sometimes) but because we actually HAVE so much stuff. We don’t need it. We sometimes don’t even know we have it.
I want to live with less. I want my kids to learn to live with less.
A friend sent me an article recently that really resonated with me, and summed up some of my soapbox feelings on donating. If you want, you can read it here. A quote from that article really hit the spot:
It’s time to think about not only what we give and how we give it, but also why we give it. Just because it makes us feel better (and cleans out our garage at the same time), doesn’t mean it’s the best for those in need. Perhaps we should look a little deeper into our hearts and wallets when we can say, I don’t have money to give to the poor, but I have a lot of stuff. Maybe we need to buy less stuff, so we have more to give? – Kristen Welch
Who Can Use My Extra Stuff?
My biggest hurdles are my time and my heart. My time because I have four kids. My heart because I am the keeper of all my Dad’s things (he passed a few years ago), and also the keeper of pretty much every single thing my kids ever wore. (I told you, my heart.)
As I work on this never-ending purge, I’ve found myself darting from one organization to another, making sure my donations are put to the best use. One place can recycle broken electronics but not the stained and ripped clothing. Another will recycle that clothing, but won’t take stuffed animals. One place puts pretty much anything unusable in the dumpster without any recycling at all. (Sigh. What a waste!)
I did some research, and here’s what I found. The following organizations use your donations, or the profit they make from your donations, to offer services to people in West Michigan. They are listed in alphabetical order. Some organizations provide a very clear list of what they do and do not accept on their website. We encourage you to review these lists before donating.
Please, Please, do not Donate your Trash Items
When talking to many of these organizations, the resounding hurdle they faced was dealing with unusable items.
Please remember to only donate items you would buy yourself.
Donating items that are unusable actually hurt the organization you are trying to help. It takes time and labor to sort items, which equals money paid out for dealing with items that won’t bring money in.
In addition, unusable items that are thrown away result in a higher trash bill.
Local Donation Centers That Pour Back Into West Michigan
Bethany’s Thrift Store
2820 29th Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512, 616-254-7777
- Bethany’s Thrift Store offers a wide variety of high-quality merchandise including gently used clothing and household items as well as brand new beds and furniture. All proceeds directly support Bethany Christian Services’ programs in our local community, including adoption, foster care, and more.
Families of Promise – Closet of Hope
2950 Clyde Park Ave. SW, Wyoming, MI 49509, 616-613-6770
- The Families of Promise Closet of Hope is a volunteer-run resource providing clothing and other items free of charge to children (ages newborn to 18) of foster, adoptive, kinship, guardianship and safe families in our church and community. Families may receive clothing and supplies for new child placements and growing children, and is a resource for ALL of the children in your home.
In The Image
1823 S. Division, Grand Rapids, MI 49507, 616-456-6150
- In The Image’s Free Store is open six days a week to serve families in crisis. Those in need can shop for items their family needs like clothing, household items, and shoes FREE of charge in their Free Store.
Note: In the Image has an excellent recycling program. They take stained clothing, ripped clothing (holes smaller than an adult fist), paper, and cardboard. If donating these items, please bag or box them up separately and label accordingly. This saves the volunteers precious sorting time.
Love INC – Love’s Treasures Resale
3282 Van Buren Street, Hudsonville, MI 49426, 616-669-2933
- Love’s Treasures Resale generates funding for ministries coordinated through Love INC. Proceeds from purchases will be used to meet local needs.
Mel Trotter Thrift Store
Locations in Sparta and Jenison.
- Mel Trotter Ministries thrift stores exist to support the programs and services at the downtown Mission to help men, women and families overcome homelessness in greater Grand Rapids.
New 2 You
2929 29th Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512, 616-942-2929
- New 2 You supports Grand Rapids Christian Schools, helping reduce tuition costs and keep high-quality Christian education affordable for all.
2852 28th Street SW, Grandville, MI 49418, 616-249-2020
- Nice Twice supports Grandville Calvin Christian Schools, helping make tuition affordable for students.
North Kent Connect
10075 Northland Drive NE, Rockford, MI 49341, 616-866-3478
- North Kent Connect is a Christian organization in northern Kent County that helps our struggling neighbors with basic life needs and guides them to self-sufficiency. Donations and volunteer efforts make everything we do possible.
389 68th Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49548, 616-455-2522
- 100% of proceeds from the Rustic Market and the Pine Rest Thrift Store are used to extend the ministry of Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services through the Patient Assistance Fund (PAF). PAF provides assistance to individuals, children, and families in the community who need mental health care, but have little or no means to pay for services.
YWCA West Central Michigan – Domestic Crisis Center
25 Sheldon Boulevard SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, 616-459-4681
- The YWCA provides women fleeing violent situations many of the things they need to help ease the uncomfortable situation of living in a place that is not their own home. They accept donations of household items, toiletries, toys and craft items. All items must be new. A helpful list is found here.
Help Us Add to This List
We’re betting there are more great organizations out there. If so, let us know! Please leave their information in the comments section.
22 thoughts on “Where you can Donate Clothes, Electronics and More in West Michigan”
Help Pregnancy Crisis Aid
705 Bridge St NW
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Donation drop off Monday-Thursday 9:30-2:30 come to the back and ring the bell.
They take baby supplies, breast pumps, car seats, strollers, baby clothing, maternity clothing.
My go-to when cleaning out my baby and maternity stuff! Very easy and you know it’s going to help another mama out. I found out about them through a comment thread on your facebook when I first moved here 🙂
Family Promise on Cherry Street helps families experiencing homelessness, by providing them with resources, shelter, and anything they might need. They need blankets, clothing, especially outerwear, boots and shoes off all sizes. Donated items are provided to families at no cost. Excellent local ministry for those in need!
Flat River Outreach Ministries in Lowell (11535 Fulton Street East, Lowell, MI or http://www.fromlowell.org) accepts gently used items to sell in Treasures Thrift Shop. The store is staffed by volunteers and all proceeds from the sale of items goes to support programs for those living in the Lowell Area School District including our Food Pantry, lunches for children during school breaks, backpack distribution, and other programs to help our Lowell Area neighbors in need.
Mission India Super Thrift, 2146 Plainfield NE. GR, 49505. Phone: 616-361-7411. All store profits are used to spread the Gospel in India.
Here’s my running list of places that take various donation
FATE(fun again toys for everyone)—therapist takes toys for kids who have none
Grand Rapids women’s resource center
Family Promise Takes items for homeless Families
Bethany Christian refugee resettlement
Safe Haven ministries
Ronald McDonald house for toys
HELP pregnancy crisis center
WAR -women at risk-44th
Alpha Women’s Center(moms in need can pick up products for their families)
Electronic places recycling
Comprenew 1454 28th St.(next to Meijer?)-takes broken electronics
Mary Free Bed -stuffed animals
West Michigan Safe Chapter (stuffed animals)(stuffed animals for emergencies)
Gods Kitchen Baby Pantry
Division Street downtown Grand Rapids
Excellent place for baby to 5 year olds clothing.
I can’t get through on the phone number listed. It sounds like it might be a fax number.
In the image recycles clothes for $ to support their ministry http://www.intheimage.org/
The Families of Promise Closet of Hope exists to serve Foster, Adoptive and Safe Families in our church and community with urgent or ongoing needs. The room is housed at Kentwood Community Church’s Wyoming Campus and needed items can be donated at either campus. Families benefit by receiving free clothing and supplies for new child placements, growing children and by attending our quarterly open houses. We can be reached at [email protected]
Twice Nice on 28th st. supports Christian Schools. I have donated items there and will do so in the future. Also The Pregnancy Crisis on Bridge St. N W loves childrens clothing donations. I have donated here also.
Our 501c3 charity called FATE Fun Again Toys for Everyone is based in Kentwood and we collect donations of gently used toys, books, games, and teen items and then give them all away to families that can’t afford to buy new presents for their children this year. Last year we were able to help over 200 children get presents and would love to make that number even bigger this year (our 5th year holding the event). More information is available on our Facebook page FATE Fun Again Toys for Everyone or via email at [email protected].
I just donate to YWCA and I definitely would do it again! They even sent me a thank you note!
Laura Ropes Smith it is something we should look into!
They send their ripped, stained clothes overseas? I hope they send them over to be used as rags.
I just saw this reply – yes, we send the ripped, stained and torn clothes overseas to be recycled. The zippers, snaps, buttons, etc… are removed/recycled and the fabric is used to make rags, tents, stuffing for blankets and more.
Which places does this? may have some clothes to recycle/donate? Thank you
In a newer post, i saw that you only accept NEW items. Is that correct?
I wanted to donate used baby equipment and toys. Will the YWCA accept them?
A couple of months ago I loaded up my car with items I wanted to donate to In The Image. When I got there I was greeted by someone that told me I had to unload all the items I wanted to donate and they would not accept the electronics I had brought. Instead I was pointed in the direction of a place that I could dump the electronics. I was not very happy with the experience I had. Needless to say I did not donate anything to In The Image and instead donated to Mel Trotter Ministries. I was really bummed that the experience I had at In The Image happened. I love their ministry and what they do for the community. All I can chalk it up to, I guess, is someone was having a bad day or was misinformed. Mel Trotter on 28th St took everything I had including my electronics, which were working.
Julie Driver should we get Foster Care Closet of Hope added??
Just a clarification. North Kent Community Services is NOT a thrift shop. Everything you give to them is sorted through their donation center and given FOR FREE to clients who receive services. They also accept household goods, furniture (in good condition) and more. They will even take clothing that is ripped, stained or torn (as long as it’s clean) because they sell it to Holland Rescue Mission to send overseas while using the money from that sale to support the food pantry.
All the donations stay 100% local, and they don’t support out of town programs or expensive staff salaries (trust me. I’m staff. No expensive trips or outrageous budgets here!) We also have a food pantry, holiday gift giving/toys for tots/food basket program and an empowerment program, to name a few.
Just clarifying if anyone is interested. If you’re thinking about donating, I’d love to answer your questions about what we do/do not take or give you a tour so you know where your donations are going. 866-3478 ext. 103 or ask for Katie.
Do they pick up in Grand rapids? Can give gas money.
Do they pick up?