When you hear the words “Donate to charity” you likely think of handing over an envelope of cash or a cheque. Monetary donations are certainly one way to donate to charity, but they’re far from the only way you can make a difference in your community. In addition to financial contributions, you can donate in a variety of other ways.
Donate used items instead of throwing them out
Many local organizations accept donations of used items that you no longer want or need in your home. Donating home items allows you to declutter your home while contributing to a worthwhile cause at the same time. Charities can use your donations to sell in social enterprise or thrift stores, where profits go towards their mission of doing good work in your community. Some organizations also give your donated items directly to people in need.
One item you might be looking to get rid of is used furniture. There are several options for donating used furniture in and around the GTA, including the Mississauga Furniture Bank, Red Door Family Shelter, Goodwill, Value Village and Habitat for Humanity ReStores.
Click on the blue text on the title of the organization to view their website, including information on where to drop off your donation, what types of used furniture are accepted and what the nonprofit does with your donation. Some organizations, like Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga, offer free furniture pickup from your home, so make sure you look for those details as well.
Another commonly accepted donation item is clothing. If you’re located in the GTA, organizations like the Burlington Humane Society, Goodwill, IODE Opportunity Shop, Wastewise, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Halton Women’s Place and Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga are just a few places which accept clothing donations.
Some organizations offer free pickup for textiles, while others encourage you to drop it off. Similar to furniture donations, some charities sell your donated clothing directly to the public, while others recycle it through partner organizations.
If you’re not in the market to donate furniture or clothing, there are lots of other items you could consider donating to charity. You likely have some old cell phones lying around your home; why not donate electronic waste to a charity? The same goes for items like used books, appliances and building materials. You can even donate things like old cars to charity. Check out Habitat’s “Where to Donate” series to learn more about the items you can donate to charity.
Donate your time, skills and expertise
Sometimes the most valuable contribution you can give to a local organization is one that you make through volunteering. Not only is your time a valued donation, but chances are you have skills, knowledge or expertise that could bring great value to the charity at which you choose to volunteer. Volunteering is also a perfect way to meet new people in your community, contribute to your community in a positive way and learn new skills that might connect to a current or future area of study or employment.
There are several ways you can find the best organization for your own volunteering desires. You can check out websites like Go Volunteer, Volunteer Canada and CharityVillage to connect your interests, skills, location and availability to organizations near you.
If you’re looking for a rewarding experience on a construction site, in a warehouse-social enterprise environment or in an office, check out Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga’s volunteer opportunities. We make it easy for you to sign up to volunteer for your first shift in under 30 minutes or less! You can access our volunteer website by following this link.
Get your workplace involved
As the saying goes, the more, the merrier! Many organizations in the GTA offer opportunities for corporate donations, workplace giving or team building experiences. You could organize a fundraiser for your office. Check out our list of fundraising tips to learn more about how you can make the most of your fundraiser in your workplace.
Team building is also a great way to get involved with a local organization. At Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga, we offer several unique team building experiences. Based on the amount of people participating, and the total amount of your financial donation, your team can take part on a build site for a day, work in our ReVive Centre or one of our ReStore locations.
These team building activities offer a chance for you to directly engage with the work that Habitat does, while also donating money which helps Habitat build more homes for deserving local families. It’s a win-win experience. Plus, you get to bond with your team through learning and growing in a new environment. Visit Habitat’s team building site to learn more and sign up today, and check out our blog post about team building experiences in the GTA to learn about all of the exciting ways your team can get involved.
Consider making a recurring donation
If you want to make a financial donation to a charity, bear in mind that making a one-time donation is not your only option. You can also give on a regular basis to create an even greater lasting impact.
Check out a donation experience like Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga’s monthly giving program. Called Hope Builders, the program allows you to see the direct impact of your contribution each month, whether it’s through paying for the front door of a home, the flooring or the exterior siding. Visit the Hope Builders website to learn more.
Whether it’s through a financial contribution, a donation of a used item or a donation of your time through volunteering, there are countless ways that you can give to charity and make a difference in your local community. Your donation can have a direct and positive impact on a nonprofit’s efforts to solve an issue, improve people’s lives and ultimately make your community a better and safer place to live, work and grow. So what are you waiting for? Find the option that is best for you, and donate today!