This story was put together for Very Local by Taylor Fowler.
Pittsburgh’s warm weather might have you itching for a spring clean-out and refresh. Maybe tossing some pandemic purchases you didn’t need after all, eh?
There was a time in my own life that I simplified… everything. I meticulously sorted and donated belongings to make more room for what mattered.
With my great purge came great responsibility.
I wanted the items I shed to have a meaningful afterlife beyond being dumped in a Goodwill bin. With an abundance of other organizations doing good in Pittsburgh, I knew there had to be ways to help our neighbors with my unwanted goods.
If you are also wondering where you can donate besides Goodwill, here’s an extensive list of organizations that want the stuff you don’t:
👖👗 Clothing, Housewares & Misc. Stuff
Free Store 15104 // Braddock
Free Store 15104, located at 420 Braddock Ave, takes surplus unwanted goods and redistributes them to neighbors in need. Free Store 15104 strives to strengthen Braddock’s sense of community, encourage reuse and combat poverty. The storefront itself is a shipping container that was once headed for the landfill and is now a bright, colorful place for families from Braddock and beyond to get what they need.
Free Store 15104 accepts donations of nearly all gently-used items in good, clean condition, from household goods to toys to clothing. They do NOT accept electronics or furniture and require that clothing items be in season.
Free Store Wilkinsburg // Wilkinsburg
Free Store Wilkinsburg (FSW), currently located at 619 Penn Ave, redistributes new and gently used goods to residents in need. FSW relies on donations and volunteers to make their meaningful contribution to Wilkinsburg a success. They accept donations of clothing, small appliances, books, home goods and more, and request that all items be in good, clean condition and in season.
Thriftique // Lawrenceville
Thriftique is a thrift store at 125 51st Street in Lawrenceville benefitting the National Council of Jewish Women in Pittsburgh. The retail store generates funds to support NCJW’s mission of taking a progressive stance on issues like child welfare, women’s rights and reproductive freedom.
Thriftique accepts donations of all items in usable condition at their Butler Street location from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and by appointment on Saturday and Sunday. Visit their website to learn more.
Repurposed // North Hills
Located at 7805 McKnight Road, Repurposed is a thrift store benefitting Living in Liberty, a nonprofit organization combating human trafficking in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Repurposed sells gently used home goods, furniture, books, clothing and more. Repurposed also houses Sozo Boutique & Coffee, a fair trade shop selling handcrafted items made by survivors of trafficking.
Repurposed accepts gently-used items inside their store during open hours. For large items, you can request a truck pickup. They also ask that you call ahead if you have a furniture donation. There are certain items they cannot accept, such as mattresses and building materials.
A full list of acceptable and unacceptable items can be found on their website.
City Mission // South Hills
City Mission is a rehabilitative homeless shelter for men, women and children in Washington, PA and with a number of thrift stores throughout the area. City Mission supplies essential materials to people in need and accepts donations of gently used clothing, shoes, boots, accessories, decorative items, electronics, furniture, household goods, jewelry, appliances, sports equipment, tools, toys, books, records, DVDs, video games and board games.
A full list of acceptable items, plus condition requirements, can be found on their website. Donations can be dropped off at any of their thrift stores, at a donation bin, at their vocational training center or can be scheduled for pick up.
The Blue Kangaroo // Serving Various Locations in our Region
The Blue Kangaroo has a mission to make clothing and basic necessities accessible at no cost. They do this through a number of initiatives, including The Blue Kangaroo Closet, which is a no-cost adult clothing boutique, Blue Kangaroo Care Boxes, which are boxes filled to specific needs and delivered to individuals requesting them, and Blue Kangaroo Pouches, which are pouches of snacks, hydration and toiletries.
They accept donations of clothing, bedding and linens, comfort items (such as toys) and toiletries. Donations are required to be clean, neatly packed and clearly labeled.
The best part? You don’t have to leave your home. The Blue Kangaroo comes to your doorstep to pick up donations. Learn more and request free pick up of items via their website.
🎷 Musical Instruments
Helpin’ Aht // Hazelwood and Available to Pick Up Items Throughout Pittsburgh
Helpin’ Aht is a not-for-profit record label and mutual aid organization run by a small, passionate team. Founder Sheridan Woika says he was always involved in music and his community. When COVID-19 shifted things for people in music and entertainment, he founded Helpin’ Aht as a way to support and keep the music community active. Proceeds from compilations go to local causes, and Helpin’ Aht accepts donations of all instruments in usable condition, from guitars, to ukuleles, to flutes and trombones, and gives them to those in need of a creative outlet. No questions asked.
🏥 Medical Items
Global Links // Green Tree
Global Links accepts and redistributes donations of medical items such as canes, walkers, shower benches, unopened medical supplies and more.
A full list of accepted items and specific requirements can be found on their website. Their contactless donation bin at 700 Trumbull Drive is accessible during business hours.
🛠 Home and Building Materials
Habitat for Humanity ReStore // Swissvale
Habitat for Humanity’s Pittsburgh ReStore at 1913 Monongahela Ave. accepts donations of gently used or new construction materials, appliances, furniture and other home goods to sell back to the community below retail value. Money earned from sales supports Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh’s mission of providing homeownership to limited-income families.
Construction Junction // Point Breeze
Construction Junction at 214 North Lexington Ave. accepts donations of surplus building and home improvement materials that are still in usable condition, such as cabinets, doors, flooring and tile and mirrors. Due to things like demand and safe handling, there are specific requirements as to what can and cannot be donated.
Read a full list and guidelines at their website.
Free Ride Pittsburgh // Point Breeze
Free Ride Pittsburgh, located at 214 North Lexington Ave. (around the corner from Construction Junction) is Pittsburgh’s DIY bicycle collective. Run by a group of volunteers passionate about bicycles, the environment and sustainable practices, Free Ride Pittsburgh accepts donations of working bikes, unrideable bikes, bike parts and supporting materials (like towels and bike stands) to then redistribute to the community and use in learning opportunities, like workshops.
Learn more and keep up to date by visiting their website.
Pitt Bike Cave // Oakland
Say hello to Pitt’s student-run bike shop. The Pitt Bike Cave accepts bike donations when they are open. Follow @PittBikeCave on Instagram for hours. You can also message them on Instagram for more info.
“Gift” your unwanted goods in your local Buy Nothing Group
The Buy Nothing Project started in Washington state in 2013. Two friends created a local gift economy, where you gift items to your neighbors. The founders have authored a book, “The Buy Nothing, Get Everything Plan: Discover the Joy of Spending Less, Sharing More, and Living Generously” (Bookshop.org, Amazon) and Buy Nothing Groups now exist across the county.
Take a look at our story on Pittsburgh area Buy Nothing groups to learn more and join the group in your neighborhood.
Have more favorite donation spots that weren’t listed here? Let us know – send an email to [email protected]
📸 Header photo: @FreeRidePGH.