Charitable giving is a welcome gesture any time of the year, but it has a special resonance during the holidays, when people want to share fellowship and good cheer.
As you review your Springs luxury apartment home for items to donate, here's a list of helpful guidelines to make the most of your generous and giving spirit.
1. Make Sure Clothes Are in Wearable Condition
Charitable organizations are a good option for clothing that no longer fits or you just don't want to wear anymore. They're not a place to dispose of items that are stained, worn out or otherwise unwearable. Double-check all clothes to make sure that they're clean with no holes or rips.
2. Charities Are Not Junkyards
By the same token, charitable organizations are not a repository for damaged and broken electronics, toys and games, furniture or household items. Either have them repaired first or take them to the appropriate recycling facility.
3. Safety First
Organizations won't accept any items that pose a safety or health risk. This includes:
Personal care items
Mattresses and box springs
Car seats and other items that don't meet the current standards of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
4. Bigger than a Bread Box?
Imagine how frustrating it would be to lug a dresser or big-screen TV over to a charity's location only to find that they don't accept it. Call ahead to check before donating electronics, furniture, vehicles and other large items.
5. Don't Forget Our Furry Friends
Homeless animals need a helping hand, too. Animal shelters greatly appreciate donations of blankets, pillows, towels and other linens and bedding.
6. No One Goes Hungry
If you entertain during the holidays, there's a good chance you'll end up with extra ingredients that go unused. Feeding America has a searchable database of food banks that will be happy to accept unopened non-perishable items.
7. Find the Right Home
Not every charity accepts the same items. Charity Navigator has a searchable database to help you locate organizations by city and state or zip code. In addition, charities are rated on a four-star system so you can find the more trustworthy and efficient organizations.
8. Cash Is Always in Style
One item that all charities can use is cash. If you have a favorite cause that doesn't accept the items you have, consider selling them online or at a resale shop and donating the money directly.
9. When in Doubt ...
If you have the slightest question whether an item is acceptable, call your designated charity and ask first.
Do you support a favorite charity? Tell us in the comments!