Donate these items to nonprofits and animal shelters this holiday season – archyde

The holidays are just around the corner, gift guides are here, and the spirit of charity is in the air. But before donating groceries or clearing out your closet, be aware that your seasonal household allowances may not be the most needed donations.

This winter, nonprofits and community organizations are recovering after a year without a break. Public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have prevented many nonprofits from accepting and distributing vacation needs over the past year. Some organizations have kept these precautionary measures or created new online or contactless donation systems, while others are trying to rebuild the networks of donors and volunteers that have been lost since 2020.

As these organizations speed up the pace of Christmas fundraisers and other forms of support, many people seek to participate in at least some aspects of a “normal” Christmas season, including traditional charitable giving opportunities.

For general instructions on donating money online, see this story how to donate safely and effectively. And here’s what organizations across the country are asking from donors this winter.


Global supply chain problems and inflation over the course of the year last year have complicated the ability of the panels to stay in stock and be ready for vacation demands. Local organizations across the country, from Texas to California, report delays in expected food supply flows and a shortage of items due to high prices. While food banks are subject to the whim of the global supply chain, members of the community can help fill in the gaps.

Lauren Biedron, vice president of corporate partnerships for the national hunger nonprofit Feed America, said the nationwide network is still recovering from last year’s events. “We saw a few challenges during COVID. March 2020 really was the perfect storm for us as we saw this dramatic increase in food demand due to the economic crisis caused by COVID-19. the Feeding America network saw a decrease in our typical donation flow, ”she said. While individual food donations are finally picking up, widespread market problems still weigh on the blackboards and pantries. “We definitely still need food. Above all, healthy, long-life food, ”said Biedron.

If you’re donating food this year, prioritize non-perishable foods with very long shelf lives – think peanut butter, canned vegetables, or even holiday-specific canned foods like gravy or cranberry sauce. Also, don’t forget the essentials for the kitchen and food preparation, such as neutral cooking oil, canned milk and cooking broths. Try not to donate packaged food that requires other ingredients (such as butter or milk) without providing those ingredients as well. And don’t donate full meals or ready-made meals that can spoil easily, even if you still have a lot of vacation leftovers.

Biedron says food banks and pantries are looking for three things, “food, money, and friends,” and that the most useful donation might just be your time, as food banks and pantries on the Feeding America network struggled to rebuild their volunteer pool last year.

“Right now there is a real need for volunteers. About 80% of our boards tell us … that they are currently accepting and needing volunteers. This is a bit unusual as the holiday season is usually a time when we are full of volunteers before COVID-19, ”explained Biedron.

Always check with your local board or pantry for your community’s specific needs and volunteer opportunities. To find the Feeding America partner closest to you, go to the organization virtual card.

You can also donate extra holiday food, drinks, and other essentials to Community fridges, free food initiatives run primarily by hyper-local mutual aid networks. While many fridges are no longer holding homemade food due to the pandemic, many more are accepting whole foods and perishable foods again. For a nationwide map of community fridges, go to, an international network of community refrigerators that has been documenting locations around the world since 2014. Or search for the keywords “community refrigerator” or “mutual aid” and your city or neighborhood on social sites like Instagram and Facebook.


Many toy drives and child-centric organizations, including children’s hospitals, are organizing online campaigns and wish lists this year to prevent transmission and ensure recipients receive gifts that they can use and enjoy.

Contact nearby children’s hospitals to clarify their specific donation requests. Boston Children’s Hospital, for example, has its own Website where people can donate money for toys or start your own online campaigns. Nationwide children’s hospital in Ohio recommends gift cards to places like Amazon, Target, or Walmart (you can also send these virtually). Keep in mind that some hospitals offer specific donation times and days for personal toy deliveries, or even require quarantine before distribution to children. To be on the safe side, start donating early so that your gifts reach the children before the holidays.

One of the most famous toy drives in the country, Toys for toddlers, encouraged Online toy donations through his Virtual toy box, an online store with popular toys selected by the organization. Search the virtual toy box by age to find toys for participating children, add them to your “box” and checkout online to send the toys to children in need. The organization also cooperated with, a virtual toy donation platform that Match all toy donations Made one on one on its website this holiday season.

If you still want to donate personally, you can find more information about your local Toys for Tots campaign on the organization’s website website.


A warm coat, a national nonprofit that collects coats and distributes them to communities in need, is encouraging even more coat donations Combat health risks associated with extreme weather. According to the organization, the shortage of winter equipment and supplies in low-income communities is of particular concern this year as warnings of hypothermia include: a possibly serious Flu season and the risk of pneumonia during the winter months collide with the further spread from COVID-19. The organization is concerned about these health risks especially in children – COVID hospital stay numbers stay high in children aged 5-11 years. Find out where to donate coats for kids and adults on One Warm Coats website.

the National Coalition for the Homeless, a network of shelters, nonprofits, and other unhodden advocates across the country, has a list of preferred donation items on its website, which includes socks, bandanas, warming blankets, and weight blankets for unoccupied parishioners. Find a local property or resource provider to donate in your area, or buy and send donations through the Amazon wish list.

If you do decide to buy clothes and donate to a clothes campaign, try adding a wider range of sizes so more people can use your donations. Dress for success, a national not-for-profit organization providing career support and workwear to underserved women, specifically soliciting womenswear in Sizes 0-2 and 14 and above. Don’t forget to include larger sizes in donations for child-specific clothing campaigns.


How to donate clothes in the most ethical way

General mutual help

The nationwide mutual aid networks that have existed for decades as community-run funds to meet the immediate needs of individuals have taken the lead care for communities in the early days of the pandemic and will continue to provide the resources needed for the neighborhoods this holiday season as well.

Different mutual aid organizers focus on different needs, from food to clothing to PPE and even temporary housing. During the winter months, these networks provide support for those struggling with the cold without proper clothing, food or heating. Check out donation links and requests for various mutual aid networks across the country Consider providing essential flu season items this winter, such as extra masks, gloves, hand sanitizers, and pain relievers. Or, offer to volunteer your time directly with a mutual assistance network by picking up supplies, hot meals, recipes, or other support for people in your area.

Contact the mutual aid organizers in your neighborhood directly for specific needs and donation procedures. You can find a network nearby, an online resource documenting mutual aid networks across the country.

When in doubt, don’t hesitate to donate funds to organizations across the country. This type of support enables organizations to use funds most efficiently for the people they serve, limit any type of waste from excess donations, and give you the opportunity to spread your charity far and wide.

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