How to Donate Blankets to Homeless Shelters in NYC

by Robert Morello

New York City has an array of public and private homeless outreach shelters and programs designed to assist those with the most dire need of support. The city's Department of Homeless Services oversees the operation and funding of all shelters. Many shelters accept only cash donations, but some accept gifts of clean and undamaged bedding.

Visit the New York Rescue Mission -- or one of the city's dozens of other homeless shelters -- online to determine which location is most convenient to you. The Rescue Mission is located at 90 Lafayette Street in the Tribeca neighborhood, just south of Canal Street.

Inspect your blankets for damage and clean them thoroughly. The shelter can only accept new or gently used goods for distribution to the needy. Bag your items and take them to the shelter of your choice at any time.

Schedule a pickup of your blankets or other items if they are too much to handle by yourself. Many people in Manhattan do not drive, and lugging large blankets on the subway can be difficult. The mission will send a truck to your home at the allotted time and take the blankets to the shelter for you.

Request a receipt for your donation. Your gift of blankets is tax-deductible and may be reported as a charitable donation on your tax return at the end of the year.

Tip

  • The New York City government recommends the Salvation Army and Housing Works as reputable charity organizations that will accept donations of bedding and other items besides funding. These institutions do not give your donation directly to those who need it, but sell it in thrift shops then use the funds raised to help the homeless. The Salvation Army also offers free pickup of large items and bulk materials if you are unable to manage to get your donation to the shelter.

Warning

  • As of March 2012, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg outlawed the donation of prepared food items to New York City homeless shelters due to an inability of the administration to assess nutritional content. No matter how much you think it may help, do not donate food without packaging, which will be discarded.

About the Author

Robert Morello has an extensive travel, marketing and business background. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University in 2002 and has worked in travel as a guide, corporate senior marketing and product manager and travel consultant/expert. Morello is a professional writer and adjunct professor of travel and tourism.

Photo Credits

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