Where to Donate Kids' Clothes, Toys, and Gear Across NYC
With two adults and three kids in my family's typically small NYC apartment, the holiday season stresses me out. Not because of all the things I need to do, but because of all the extra "stuff" that I know is about to flood our home. That's why this is my favorite time of year to donate my kids' gently (or sometimes never!) used clothes, toys, books, and other items so we can free up some space, support worthy charities, and get the whole family in a giving mindset. Plus, it's one small way to make the holiday season a little less stressful for someone else.
We've gathered details on several organizations where you can donate quality used items during the holidays and beyond. Be sure to contact the charities directly to confirm what they accept and how best to drop off.
If you're looking for another way to share the love this season, consider joining our Mommy Poppins Operation Santa team.
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Hour Children's Thrift Shops – Long Island City & Astoria, Queens
12-02 36th Avenue, LIC
31-24 Steinway Street, Astoria
This organization accepts gently used clothing for children and adults, as well as housewares, and more (no stuffed animals or used toys). Donations are accepted by drop-off only at their location in Long Island City. Sales in its thrift shop help support Hour Children's mission of aiding incarcerated women and their children in maintaining strong bonds throughout prison stays and as they re-enter society. Services aim to help break the cycle of incarceration and poverty. The thrift shops also provide recently released mothers with a workplace to earn money and life skills to begin the rebuilding process.
Goodwill – Citywide
Visit the website to find a donation center near you.
Goodwill accepts clean, gently used adult and children's clothing and household items. The organization will also take toys and games, provided all the pieces are intact. Proceeds from stores help to provide job training and other services for local community members in need.
NYC Mammas Give Back distributes donated items.
NYC Mammas Give Back – Chelsea
601 West 26th Street
This organization began when one mother reached out to a homeless mother-to-be and mobilized her network to set the needy mother up with the gear and support she needed for her new baby. The organization has a drop-off location in Manhattan and accepts new and gently used gear and clothing, including high chairs and bouncy seats. It then passes along all donated items to a variety of shelters serving women and children citywide. NYC Mammas Give Back also greatly appreciates financial donations to purchase items that can only be donated brand new and unopened (diapers, wipes, nursing supplies, etc.) or contributions from its Amazon Wish List.
Room to Grow – Chelsea
7 West 30th Street, Third Floor
This unique organization provides essentials for babies born to families living in poverty, and continues to monitor their progress every three months until the child turns 3. Room to Grow NYC accepts baby gear, clothing, toys, and other essentials for kids up to that age. Donations can be dropped off at two locations (Chelsea and the South Bronx; please call ahead), picked up by a messenger for a tax-deductible fee, or shipped to its warehouse.
The Bowery Mission – Lower East Side
227 Bowery near Prince Street
This spot accepts donations Monday to Saturday from 8am-8pm and provides nearly 50,000 articles of clothing to men, women, and children every year. The Mission takes new or gently used clothing for men and new clothing for women. Jeans, casual, and professional clothing, and winter gear are in high demand right now. Food is also accepted, including fresh fruits and vegetables, canned and non-perishable items, or pre-packaged snacks. Hold on to your baby gear or donate it elsewhere—they are not currently accepting baby items.
Donate clothing, gear, and diapers to Little Essentials.
Little Essentials – Brooklyn Navy Yard
63 Flushing Avenue
This nonprofit accepts donations of goods for local families in need year-round. Accepted items include diapers and wipes, infant car seats, strollers, baby carriers, and in-season clothes for children up to age 5. Donations may be dropped off at the warehouse in the Brooklyn Navy Yard by appointment. During the holidays, it is only accepting new children's toys and diapers. Check its website for a full list of acceptable items.
The Salvation Army Thrift Stores – Citywide
Visit the website for locations.
The Salvation Army Thrift Stores support citywide Adult Rehabilitation Centers and accept everything from children's and adult clothing to major appliances and furniture. The organization offers a value guide for tax-deduction purposes and will pick up large items. You can even schedule a pickup online.
The Thrifty HoG – Flatiron
11 West 25th Street
This shop is operated by charitable organization Hearts of Gold, whose mission is to help homeless mothers get back on their feet and transition into permanent housing. The store helps in two ways: First, it provides these mothers with on-the-job training as they staff the "designer thrift shop." Second, all revenue goes to fund Hearts of Gold's missions. The shop takes new and gently used clothing for men and women. Larger donations can be made by appointment only and smaller donations (1-3 bags) can be dropped off on Wednesday or Thursday between 11am-5pm. Please note that it has closed its children's shop, but it does accept new toy donations that are then passed on to local shelters and directly to their HoG children.
CHiPS provides nearly 350 meals a day and relies on donations.
CHiPS – Park Slope, Brooklyn
200 Fourth Avenue between Sackett and Degraw
This local org is currently accepting new clothing donations for infants, toddlers, and women. Items can be dropped off Mondays-Fridays between 9:30am and 3:30pm. Monetary donations help keep its soup kitchen and adjoining boarding house running.
Housing Works – Multiple Locations
See website for locations.
Housing Works is a fantastic citywide chain that accepts donations of all kinds. Check out its website for additional details, but keep in mind they don't like to accept children's clothing unless it still has tags on it. If you have a furniture donation, fill out a request for pickup on its website. All other donations can be dropped off at its store locations during regular business hours.
This article first published in December 2013 and is updated annually.
Photos courtesy of the organizations