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Clear Out the Clutter and Help Those in Need

Donating unused or unwanted items is a great way to clean house while also helping others in need.

This week’s Great Escape takes us to the thrift store of your choice. But we’re not going there to shop. We’re going there to donate.

As fall weather sets in and you exchange the summer clothes in your closet for warmer ones, ask yourself a question for each garment you place at the back of your closet or in storage: Am I ever going to wear this again?

If the answer is “no,” don’t box the item or toss it in a pile. Instead, donate it to a local thrift store. In doing so, you’ll benefit yourself and others in numerous ways.

With each donation, you’ll lessen the clutter in your home, decrease the amount of landfill in your global community, and make something available to someone who needs or wants it, at a more affordable price than retail.

Furthermore, the proceeds from the sale of the item will benefit the parent cause of the thrift store to which you donate, such as veteran groups or agencies which employ or assist developmentally disabled individuals.

And, if you itemize on your tax return, thrift store donations can be included as a charitable contribution deduction. Just make sure to get a receipt!

Your donation doesn’t have to be limited to clothing, of course. You can donate any other unused or unwanted items around your home, including furniture, electronics, appliances, kitchenware, books and other media, toys, home décor items, and more.

Here is a list of a few nearby thrift stores that will gladly accept your donations:

: Stop by Goodwill at 3492 Washington Road in McMurray to donate your unwanted items. Revenues directly benefit job-training and equipment needs of disabled or disadvantaged persons. Call 724-941-5253 for more details.

St. Vincent De Paul Society: Head down Rt. 88 to drop your donations off at 3423 Library Road in Castle Shannon. Proceeds fund the society’s charitable work, such as disaster relief and person-to-person help for those in financial and/or spiritual need. Call 412-882-8519 for more details.

Red, White & Blue Thrift Store: It may be a little out of your way, but driving in to Pittsburgh’s Brookline neighborhood may be worth your while. Donate at 890 Saw Mill Run Boulevard, where revenues benefit U.S. veteran services. Call 412-381-1060 for more details.

Salvation Army: Plan on visiting the West Mifflin Walmart any time soon? Before you load up your car with new stuff, unload some old stuff at 6150 Mountain View Drive. Sale monies benefit a wide variety of causes, such as youth training, sports and camps; prisoner and drug and alcohol rehabilitation services; and, elderly services. Call 1-800-SA-TRUCK for more details.

Small-scale donations are accepted at each of these locations. Contact the specific store directly to arrange for pickup of large-scale donations, like furniture, appliances, inventories or cars.

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