If the last five months staring at the same four walls 24/7 have told us anything, it’s that our New York City apartments were made for sleeping in, occasionally eating in, but certainly not for working in.
The result? A clear-out of anything that no longer fits (hello, “quarantine 10”!), works, or enriches our lives. So if you have several Hefty bags of clothes, shoes, books, etc, this guide will help you get them to someone who can use them.
The brainchild of two friends in Bainbridge Island, WA, in 2013, this project has grown to become a worldwide social movement, with groups in 30 countries. Locals form gift economies, and people join either to get rid of things that are cluttering their lives, or to save money by picking up things for free. The Midtown group recently had a piano up for grabs, while someone else was in need of a tennis racquet. Join their Facebook Group to take part.
W41st St – 9th/10th Ave
For more than 45 years, Covenant House has provided residential services to vulnerable homeless, runaway, and exploited young people.
During the COVID-19 crisis, and to reduce potential spread of illness, it is currently limiting all in-person donation drop-offs to essential items that have been pre-approved. This includes: plain white T-shirts, sweatpants, black pants, leggings, dress shirts, men’s belts, luggage and duffel bags, dress pants, winter scarves, coats, umbrellas, sketchbooks and sketching paper, paint, adult coloring books, canvas, pencils, markers, flip-flops, slippers, bathrobes, and craft supplies.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to have your donation approved and a drop-off date and time scheduled.
9th Ave – 46th/47th St
More than 2,000 students from 50 public schools and learning centers throughout NYC take part in interactive theater and drama therapy at ENACT. It is always looking for in-kind donations, including gently used computer equipment and software, and office supplies. So if you’re looking for a place to offload that old iPad …
Your donations will help support Housing Works’ services for homeless and low-income men, women, and young people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS.
The 9th Ave store closed earlier this year, but it will pick up larger donations of the following for a small fee: furniture in excellent condition; clean clothing (in plastic garbage bags only); accessories and shoes (boxed or bagged); antiques; art; decorative items; clean housewares (properly packed in boxes only); jewelry; lighting; clean rugs; up to four boxes of books.
W40th St – 10th/11th Ave
A community resource in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen, offering services that include a food pantry, after-school programming, teen center, and winter clothing closet. It is now accepting donations of adult winter clothing.
Open: 10am – 2pm, Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
W46th St – 11th/12th Ave
The organization supports people in shelters, schools, and daycare centers around the world, and was recently providing the simple human service of showers for those experiencing homelessness in Hell’s Kitchen. It is accepting donations of household furniture/furnishings, musical Instruments, shoes, sports equipment, toys/games, appliances, books/media, electronics, kitchen Items, clothing and accessories.
Open 7.30am-3.30pm, Monday-Saturday. Pick-up is available (but the next slot is October 8).
8th Ave – 38th/39th St
A group that cares for at-risk and formerly homeless men and women, Urban Pathways is in need of gently used clothing, as well as furniture, artwork, bedding, bathroom, and kitchen items to help furnish apartments. Download and fill out the donation form on the website.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST
The venerable New York tradition of stooping is alive and well. Put your beloved but no longer needed bits of furniture on the sidewalk and you can guarantee it’ll disappear in a couple of hours. Keep an eye on @StoopingNYC on Instagram for some real gems – or post your own there!
Information correct at time of going to press, but please contact the location first. For information on donating other goods, see https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/donate/site/