Spring cleaning: Your clutter can make the world a better place

Spring is finally here! If you live in California like us, birds are probably already singing in the trees outside your window, heralding the hot weather ahead. Colorful blossoms are bursting forth, and fragrant citrus fruit hangs heavy on the trees. As the outward world takes a deep breath toward new growth, it’s also a great time to focus on new growth inwardly. This process doesn’t have to be intimidating, though; it can begin with a simple spring cleaning. Begin by noticing how much stuff you have around the house that could be eliminated, saving you time, space and energy on a daily basis. Wouldn’t it be freeing to just let it go?
If cultivating a simpler life with less clutter and fewer distractions isn’t motivation enough to purge unneeded items, know that donating them to charities could also benefit other peoples’ lives in huge ways – By choosing to give your clutter away, you’ll bring joy into someone else’s life, fulfill their needs, and support the environment by not unnecessarily filling landfills. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of places to donate your discards. Of course, this list is by no means exhaustive. If you know of a local charity that will take your donations, feel free to let us know on Facebookor Twitter.
Here’s that list – Simply click on the link to find out more about how to make a donation:
Where to donate clothes, shoes and accessories
Dress for Success provides professional attire and development tools to low-income women. Donate women’s professional clothes, shoes, and accessories.
CareerGear provides professional attire and mentoring services to men seeking employment. Donate men’s business clothes, as well as briefcases, portfolios, watches and cufflinks, and coats.
Clothes4Soles and Soles4Souls provide clothes and shoes for people in need around the world. Donate all types and styles of new or gently used clothes and shoes.
Where to donate toys and children’s items:
Project Night Night delivers packages to homeless children that include children’s books, stuffed animals, and blankets.
Stuffed Animals For Emergencies donates children’s items such as stuffed animals, books, coloring books, crayons, blankets, children’s clothes, and baby-related items to benefit children during emergency situations such as fires, illness, accidents, neglect, abuse, homelessness and weather emergencies.
Where to donate electronics:
HopeLine from Verizon provides refurbished cell phones to victims of domestic abuse and violence so they can stay connected to support networks and achieve a fresh start at life. They accept all functional cell phones.
Lifecell Project recycles old cell phones in bulk at environmentally-friendly centers, and uses the funds to purchase water filtration systems for those in developing countries. Just fill out a donation form and they’ll send you a postage-paid envelope in which you can mail your old phone.
World Computer Exchange gives used but functional technology to schools, libraries, community centers & universities in developing countries
Where to donate school and office supplies:
Develop Africa provides children in Africa with school and teaching supplies, as well as scholarships, small business training, computer training, school uniforms, and mosquito nets.
The GrayMatters Foundation supports and empowers people impacted by brain tumors through outreach, awareness and assistance programs. They make supportive cards to encourage brain tumor patients and survivors, as well as their loved ones.
Where to donate books:

The A.K. Smiley Public Library in Redlands sells donated books through the Friends Bookstore, located in the lower level of the building, in order to raise funds for the library’s collections, services, and programs.  
Books For Africa’s mission is to end the book famine in Africa by creating a culture of literacy and providing the tools of empowerment to the next generation of parents, teachers, and leaders in Africa.
Global Literacy Project donates books and literacy support materials, and conducts educational programs aimed at improving knowledge, enhancing global awareness, and developing skills in the U.S. and abroad.
Books Through Bars sends reading and educational materials to prisoners.
Where to donate musical instruments:
Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation keeps music alive in schools by providing durable, high-quality musical instruments to deserving, under-funded music programs nationwide.
Marching Mountains supplies public school band programs in distressed counties in Appalachia with donated new and used musical instruments
Where to donate eyeglasses:

Lions club members and community volunteers ship prescription glasses to people in need in developing countries.
  

Unite for Sight

Unite for Sight provides eye care for people in developing countries. They only accept new, unused glasses and sunglasses.
New Eyes for the Needy distributes used glasses around the world to those in need.
Where to donate (almost) anything else:
Goodwill provides opportunities to build skills for people with barriers to employment, including single mothers, veterans, and those with physical and mental disabilities.
Salvation Army provides a host of services and community programs to those in need, including children, single parents, veterans, and those who are homeless, displaced, or in prison.
Vietnam Veterans of America provides support for Vietnam veterans and their families.

We hope you’ve learned how much good you can do for others by de-cluttering! Again, please let us know on Facebookand/or Twitter if you have any other favorite charities we missed that you’d recommend. Until next month, happy organizing!   

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