When going through your linens and realizing you have more blankets than you need, you may be looking for places to donate them. Donating gently used blankets is a great way to declutter your home while helping those in need stay warm. This comprehensive guide provides information on the best places to donate blankets and how to donate effectively.
Why Donate Blankets?
Donating extra blankets you no longer use is beneficial for many reasons:
Help Others in Need
Millions of people around the world lack proper bedding and warm covers. Donating provides blankets to homeless shelters, disaster victims, refugees, and low-income families.
Support Charitable Organizations
Most places that accept blanket donations depend on charitable contributions to serve their communities. Donations allow them to direct funds towards other critical needs.
Make Room at Home
Donating excess blankets frees up valuable closet and storage space in your home. And avoiding waste is good for the environment.
Teach Children to Give
Children can learn about charity when you involve them in the donation process. Seeing generosity firsthand builds character.
Easy Tax Deductions
Get a tax write-off for the estimated value of donated blankets if you itemize deductions. Take photos for records.
Considerations Before Donating Blankets
As you prepare blankets to donate, keep these considerations in mind:
Inspect blankets closely and only donate those in good condition – clean, free of damage, tears, stains, etc.
Wash and dry blankets thoroughly before donating. This removes allergens and ensures a fresh start.
Think about when blankets will be most useful. Donate cold weather gear in fall/winter. Light blankets are ideal for spring/summer.
Understand if recipients prefer new or gently used and what sizes, colors, styles work best. Adapt donations.
Have a plan for safely getting bulky blankets to the donation drop-off point.
Where to Donate Locally
Donating blankets in your own community ensures they directly assist fellow residents in need. Here are places to donate blankets locally:
Homeless shelters provide lodging and basic needs for those without permanent housing. Blankets keep residents warm. Call your local shelters to see if they accept linens donations.
Domestic Violence Shelters
Shelters supporting those impacted by intimate partner violence often rely on donations to furnish their facilities. Blankets help create a warm, welcoming environment.
Many churches and religious centers collect donations of blankets and other useful items to distribute to struggling individuals and families they serve.
Organizations that support veterans are always seeking blankets and other linens to help provide housing essentials.
When disasters like fires, floods or storms strike, relief groups on the ground need blankets among other supplies. Find out donation needs.
City recreation centers, youth clubs and senior centers often accept donated blankets to share with their members and participants.
Smaller local nonprofits supporting certain groups or causes may also benefit from blanket donations to aid their work. Research who has needs aligning with your desire to give.
Some thrift stores accept gently used blanket donations, then resell them to fund programs assisting disadvantaged community members.
Police and Fire Stations
Law enforcement and fire stations occasionally collect unused blankets to provide to accident/fire victims displaced from their homes.
Where to Donate Nationally
If you want your donations to help blanket-needy people beyond your own community, consider these national organizations that accept linens contributions:
This nonprofit has hundreds of local chapters across North America that provide new handmade blankets to children undergoing medical treatment or trauma. They accept both homemade and store-bought blanket donations for distribution.
The iconic Salvation Army has thousands of locations and helps provide clothing, household items and more to those in crisis. They accept donated blankets in clean, damage-free condition.
Goodwill stores sell donated goods to fund employment placement and training programs. Blankets in good shape can be dropped at your nearest location.
St. Jude’s Ranch for Children
This organization for abused/neglected youth has a ‘Linens for Kids’ program accepting donated blankets and towels to support their residential facilities.
Quilts for Kids
They distribute quilts to ill and traumatized children through partner hospitals and shelters. Donated new child-sized blankets are welcome.
Project Night Night
This nonprofit provides blankets, books and stuffed toys to children entering emergency shelters. New packaged children’s blankets are needed.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat ReStores sell donated building materials, furniture and home goods to support Habitat’s mission of affordable housing. Used blankets in decent condition are accepted.
Local Animal Shelters
Animal rescues always need lots of blankets and towels for bedding, warmth and cleaning. Donate to a shelter near you.
How to Prepare and Drop Off Blanket Donations
Once you’ve selected a donation recipient, here are some tips for smooth preparation and delivery:
Wash and Dry
Launder blankets in hot water and dry completely so they are fresh for new owners.
Inspect for rips, major stains or excessive wear. Only donate blankets still in good shape.
Remove Pet Hair
Use tape rollers and lint brushes to remove any pet hair if you have shedding animals. This prevents triggering allergies.
Take time to properly fold blankets so they look orderly and organized for transport. This shows care.
Use Clear Plastic Bags
Place neatly folded blankets in large clear plastic bags and tie closed. This keeps donations clean and contained.
Label “Blanket Donation”
Attach a tag or label prominently indicating “Blanket Donation” along with the recipient organization for easy identification.
Contact the recipient organization before dropping off to ensure staff are expecting the delivery and blankets match their current needs.
Ask for a donation receipt at drop-off to retain for tax records. List the blanket types and estimate total value.
Say Thank You
Express your gratitude to the staff member accepting the blankets. Positive feedback encourages future collections.
Answers to Common Blanket Donation FAQs
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about donating used blankets:
Can you donate used blankets?
Most organizations happily accept gently used, clean blankets in undamaged condition. Always inspect blankets closely before donating used ones.
Do you have to wash blankets before donation?
Yes, machine washing and drying any used blankets prior to donating is highly recommended. This eliminates odors, allergens and potential germs.
Where can veterans donate blankets?
Veterans groups like the Wounded Warrior Project, Disabled American Veterans and Veterans of Foreign Wars all accept blanket donations for vets in need.
How do you ship blanket donations?
For national donations, fold blankets tightly, pack well in boxes and ship via UPS or USPS to minimize costs. Get tracking numbers.
Do animal shelters need old blankets?
Yes, local animal shelters and rescues always need old towels and blankets for animal bedding, lining crates, and cleaning. These do not need to be in perfect shape.
Can I deduct the value of donated blankets?
If you itemize tax deductions, you can deduct the estimated fair market value of donated blankets. Consult IRS guidelines and document.
Do homeless shelters take used blankets?
Absolutely. Blankets are in high demand at homeless shelters and are needed in any condition to provide warmth. Even slightly worn blankets help.
Final Thoughts on Donating Blankets
Donating extra blankets collecting dust in your home is a simple and gratifying way to declutter while making a real difference for those lacking life’s essentials. Hopefully this guide provided you with ample options, advice and motivation for getting those unused linens into the hands of individuals who so desperately need them.
Originally posted on September 2, 2023 @ 2:07 am