Where to Donate Boxes

by Van Thompson
Boxes may seem like clutter to you, but they can make life easier for another person.

Boxes may seem like clutter to you, but they can make life easier for another person.

Boxes can seem like worthless clutter that fill your closet or recycling bin, but they also serve a variety of purposes, both for charities and individuals. A young couple moving into a new rental home may not be able to afford boxes, while a startup charity may need the extra storage space a few boxes can provide. Don't just throw away these cardboard treasures. Instead, consider donating them. If you donate your boxes to an eligible charity, you can get a tax deduction for the value of the boxes.

Friends and Neighbors

Before you undertake a search to find a charity or organization that will take your boxes, look in your own backyard. If a neighbor has a "for sale" sign in her yard, ask if she'd like your boxes. If a friend is getting ready to move, see if she needs some extra space for packing her things. You won't get a tax deduction for donating to your friends, neighbors or family, but you will help the people who are closest to you.

Churches

Churches frequently need boxes for storage and traveling purposes. Many churches, for example, take boxes of items to homeless or impoverished families, or use boxes to pack meals for senior citizens. Ask your church -- or a church near your home -- if they need any boxes. If the church doesn't need them and you don't want to spend more time on your search, try posting a flier or note on the church bulletin board advertising free boxes.

Charities

National organizations such as Goodwill, The Kidney Foundation and the Salvation Army frequently solicit donations of an assortment of gently-used goods. These organizations may need boxes, and are often willing to pick up items from your curb. Call your local organization chapter and ask if they're accepting box donations. If there's a local charity that's near to your heart, this may be the place to donate. Domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters, soup kitchens and a wide variety of charitable organizations often need boxes, so call and ask if they'll accept your donation.

Donation Guidelines

Before you donate your boxes, find out the organization's donation guidelines. Generally, you'll need to remove twine and staples from the boxes, as well as any packing material. You may also need to flatten the boxes. If the boxes are crumbling or broken, the organization might not be able to use them, so only donate usable boxes.

About the Author

Van Thompson is an attorney and writer. A former martial arts instructor, he holds bachelor's degrees in music and computer science from Westchester University, and a juris doctor from Georgia State University. He is the recipient of numerous writing awards, including a 2009 CALI Legal Writing Award.

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