What do you do with those things you have lying around that you want to donate to someone? You don’t want to throw things away, and you’re not sure Goodwill can use the items, so what do you do? It’s not as simple as it should be, but it’s also not as complicated either.
As we meet with the service providers listed on our Community Resource Guide we seek to learn what kinds of things they need. From these conversations, we compiled things that organizations can use. We hope to have an online tool available for you very soon; it’s still in the works! For now, here’s a list to consider!
To thrift shop, or not to thrift shop…
Yes, you can bring your serviceable and new items to a thrift shop, and it’s often an excellent place to start. Not all thrift shops are run in the same manner – there are several different models. Some of them are fundraisers for a specific cause or entity, some are run to provide employability skills and a fresh resume, and some use their profits to support a specific cause or entity.
Remnants, Haven of Rest, Shalom House, Goodwill, Homes with a Heart
Remnants, located at 300 South Main Street in Anderson, is an example of a fundraiser: it has many vendors of antiques, furnishings, giftware, and art within the mall. You will find good values there, though perhaps not inexpensive items. All of it contributes towards financially supporting Shalom House’s addiction recovery ministry. You can donate items to Remnants as well as shopping there.
Other thrift shops are explicitly developed for job-training programs and also have low-cost items. In these, you would expect to find inexpensive items and bargains. You also will find workers who are in training or in specific positions to match their abilities. Goodwill, for example, employs many people with disabilities. Addiction recovery programs such as Haven of Rest, Shalom House and Homes with a Heart can use their thrift shops as employment opportunities for their program graduates. Thrift shops that serve as job-training may have slightly higher prices in order to support those being employed.
Some thrift shops have bargains and support a charity, cause, or ministry – non-profits. Often individuals and businesses donate new or gently used items to support the specific mission, and then these items are available at a bargain for the thrifty-minded. These thrift shops exist to support their organization’s mission. Whether it’s Oxfam, Jamaica Relief Ministries, Habitat ReStore, Wilderness Way Girls’ Camp or any other, you can choose to donate to a particular thrift store because you want to support their mission.
Location, location, location.
Many people who are on a limited budget do not want any handouts. They would prefer to find a bargain for themselves and their families. Several of our county’s nonprofit thrift shops are close to neighborhoods that have a relatively high number of low-income families. If you bring your donations to that neighborhood thrift shop, then your items are available to people who could make use of them and it preserves their dignity to purchase the items inexpensively, as well as conserving gas (and likely frail vehicles) by bringing their shopping close to home. Examples of such thrift shops include:
- Goodwill Store and Job Connection at 2901-A South Main St, Anderson
- Goodwill Thrift Store at 7709 US-76 in Pendleton
- Goodwill Thrift Store at 297 Highway 20 in Pelzer
- Habitat for Humanity ReStore at 210 South Murray, Anderson
- Haven of Rest Thrift Store, 214 West Orr St, Anderson
- Haven of Rest Thrift Store at Miracle Mile Dr, Anderson
- Haven of Rest Thrift Store at 559 West Main St, Anderson
- Haven of Rest Thrift Store at 416 South Main St, Anderson
- Haven of Rest Thrift Store at 302 North Shirley Ave #1636, Honea Path
- Jamaica Relief Ministries Thrift Shop at 5400 US-76, Sandy Springs
- Wilderness Way Girls Camp Thrift Store at 3420 Clemson Boulevard, Anderson (it’s tucked away in the back of that strip mall, on the same side as Ollie’s)
Some thrift shops are for-profit, and have a variety of requirements on taking items, and may not give you a donation slip. They might, however, be near your house. In this case, you are supporting the good cause of getting reuse out of an item. Bravo!
Specific items to donate, and where, and why:
Anderson Soup Emergency Kitchen: wishlist. They would like pots, pans, utensils, kitchen appliances (crock pots, blenders, mixers) and dish towels, as well as canned products with current expiration dates. You’ll find them at 306 West Franklin Street Monday through Friday, from 9 am until about noon. You can also email them at email@example.com Check their website for updates!
Bethel Baptist Church at 301 Rogers Street puts together sack meals every Wednesday evening and often adds seasonal items, like blankets and socks. They’re on Facebook and regularly post their needed items and have a number of individuals who can answer questions about what they need at the moment.
First Presbyterian Church at 302 West Whitner Street hosts a community meal on the first Sunday of each month. They serve as a collection point for various area ministries. Their newsletter specifies what they’re collecting, and for whom. In November 2020, for example, they collected non-perishable canned goods for both Anderson Interfaith Ministries and the Good Neighbor Cupboard for Shalom House. They have hosted Rhodes Respite Care for adults with early-to-moderate memory impairment, and look to resume some time in 2021. You can email the office manager at Debra for specific food needs for the community meal and Caroline Bell for dementia-support donation needs.
Mount Carmel CME Church at 609 Cleveland Avenue hands out 100+ meals from the Saturday Servants as well as seasonal items like warm clothing to the homeless and the hungry. To provide food or clothing, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 864.406.6455.
South Main Chapel and Mercy Center at 2408 South Main Street serves as a community center, hosting medical, legal, mental health and other services for their neighborhood of need. They have an Amazon wishlist here and you can donate snacks or hygiene items as well as warmth items. Blankets and sleeping bags are very welcome during the colder months, and bicycles in sturdy condition have been helpful: please email Elizabeth for current needs. They also now host the Ride to Work Ministry Anderson to offer affordable transportation to and from work.
The LOT Project at 302 West Market Street takes new or gently used clothing, warmth, hygiene and footwear items. Here’s where they post what they can use: giving as well as Facebook – and they receive items at their donation center (also at 302 West Market Street) on Mondays from 4-6 pm and Wednesdays from 11 am to 1 pm. Check out their Facebook page for other collection points and times: they typically are open for one Saturday a month for donations.
Meals on Wheels Anderson at 105 South Fant Street can always use large (#10) cans of fruit, applesauce, or vegetables; bags of rice or noodles, individually wrapped dessert items (such as Little Debbie’s or Rice Krispie Treats), bleach, laundry detergent, dishcloths, and dish towels. They also accept donations of new, one-of-a-kind items or experiences that can be included in an auction or raffle at one of the signature fundraising events held each year. Popular past items include:
- Gift Certificates (Dining, Retail)
- Sports Themed Items
- Experiences (such things as Ski Passes, Vacation Packages, Park Passes)
- Outdoor Recreational Items (Boards, Floats, Boating Accessories, Camping Equipment)
These may be delivered to 105 S. Fant Street Monday through Thursday from 8 am – 4 pm or Friday from 8 am – 2 pm.
Developmental Center for Exceptional Children at 1100 West Franklin Street has an extensive supply here: supplies – which includes my personal favorites: duct tape and WD-40 – along with items that range from the small (paper clips and staples), the easy (Ziplock bags), the vital (toilet paper) and the sanitary (Clorox bleach). If you just found 400 extra rubber bands and 9 spare Sharpies, take them over to DCEC!
New Foundations Home for Children, which includes the Empowering Families program as well as the Family Counseling Center of Anderson, posts immediate needs on their Facebook page which ranges from wrapping paper to bassinets to infant formula to frisbees.
The Parenting Place, which serves Anderson County, as well as Greenville, Oconee, and Pickens, is always in need of diapers and wipes, especially larger sized ones 4, 5 and 6. In addition, they can use baby care items, dinnerware, health care, linens, and toys. They also host a clothes closet. See their current needs here: wishlist and in some cases, they can do a pickup.
Clean Start at 219 Townsend Street provides laundering services, clothing, and basic hygiene supplies to those who would otherwise not have access. Their supply list can be found here: supplies and their needs range from Q-tips to rubber bath mats to blankets to underwear. You can bring them donations Monday, Wednesday or Fridays before opening time (6:45 to 7:15 am) or during open hours. You can also call them at 864.716.0766 for seasonal needs.
Anderson Free Clinic at 414 North Fant Street can accept dental, medical, pharmacy and office supplies. From jumbo meal paper clips to small paper cups for water to diabetic test strips to headrest covers…you can see their current list here wishlist as well as contact the Free Clinic at 864.512.7811.
The Cancer Association of Anderson at 21 East Calhoun Street can use donated forever first-class letter postage stamps, bottled water and a variety of batteries (AA, AAA, and C) – you can check out their wishlist here. You can also contact them at 864.222.3500 for seasonal needs.
Rainey Hospice House and Hospice of the Upstate at 1835 Rogers Road can use a variety of items from light bulbs to red ink pens as well as individual pudding cups. Check out their current and complete list here: wishlist or call 864.222.3500.
Patrick B. Harris Psychiatric Hospital can use donations of men’s and women’s shoes and clothing (all sizes), personal care products, reading glasses, stamps/stationery/note cards, books and magazines, puzzles, games and playing cards for patients’ activities are needed and appreciated. Call 864.965.9752, Sandra Jamison, Community Resources Development Coordinator for details.
Faith Food Bank distributes food at 308 Williams Street in Williamston. To donate food items, such as dried beans, rice, canned meat, grits, cereal, powdered milk, canned vegetables, peanut butter, jelly, canned soups, canned fruits, macaroni, baby food & baby formula, canned fruit juices, flour, cornmeal, sugar, shortening and food items that are without sugar or low in sodium contact them at 864.518.1477 or via e-mail.
Good Neighbor Cupboard at 313 Towers Street (enter on Church Street) can always use dried beans, rice, canned meat, grits, cereal, powdered milk, canned vegetables, peanut butter, jelly, canned soups, canned fruits, macaroni, baby food & baby formula, canned fruit juices, flour, cornmeal, sugar, shortening and food items that are without sugar or low in sodium. You can bring it to them Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday from 11 am to 1:30 pm.
St Mary of the Angels Catholic Church Food Pantry at 1821 White Street can always use non-perishable food such as small canned meats, fruits and vegetables, as well as spaghetti sauce, pasta, peanut butter, jelly and cereal. You can bring it to them on Tuesday 9 am to 12 pm, or during any weekday or service times. You can contact them directly at 864.226.8621 or e-mail for seasonal needs and high-demand items.
Tabernacle of Faith at 1613 South Main Street can always use dried beans, rice, canned meat, grits, cereal, powdered milk, canned vegetables, peanut butter, jelly, canned soups, canned fruits, macaroni, canned fruit juices, flour, cornmeal, shortening and food items that are without sugar or low in sodium. You can bring food items to them Monday and Wednesday from 2:00-4:00 pm, or Sunday from 12:30-1:30 pm.
Royal Baptist Church at 407 East Hampton Street can always use dried beans, rice, canned meat, canned vegetables, peanut butter, jelly, canned soups, canned fruits as well as macaroni. You can bring it to them Sundays during service time or 2nd and 4th Saturday from 11a to 1 p. Call 864.964.9006 or email them to confirm their immediate needs for their food pantry.
Orrville Baptist at 2620 South Main Street hands out 100+ pre-made food bags as well as seasonal items like warm clothing to the homeless and the hungry. To provide food or learn about current needs, call 864.224.6980 and ask for details from Frank or Sharon Arthur.
Operation Care, hosted at the Palmetto Baptist Association, at 3 Middleton Boulevard, Williamston provides food boxes for households in need. They can use items such as dried beans, rice, canned meat, grits, cereal, powdered milk, canned vegetables, peanut butter, jelly, canned soups, canned fruits and pasta. Contact Kathy Cannon at 864.847.7090 about current needs. You can drop off items Monday thru Friday from 9-11 am.
Anderson Pregnancy Care, 1303 North Murray Avenue is now open Monday nights 6-8 pm for donation drop offs, or you can head to the back door Tuesday through Thursday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. They need toiletries for Mom, Dad and baby, size 5 diapers, wipes, new bottle nipples and pacifiers.
The Anderson County Department of Social Services Foster Care’s wish-list is maintained by Jocelyn Gibson here: wishlist. Call 864.359.3244 or email Jocelyn – the list ranges from coloring books and crayons to pajamas and teen hygiene kits.
Likewise, Calvary Home for Children at 110 Calvary Home Circle has an extensive wish list which you can find here: wishlist – they have Amazon and Target wish lists for consistently needed items, and a range of food, clothing, personal care, household and cleaning items that vary. Contact email@example.com or call them at 864.296.5437 to verify their current needs, especially if you have a larger item to donate.
Family Promise of Anderson County has a wish list which you can find here: wishlist – and it includes items from undergarments to hair products to over-the-counter medications to large plastic storage bins. You can coordinate with them via email or phone at 864.760.0908.
Mary’s House in Pickens County, which serves people of Anderson County, also has a wish list, which you can find here: wishlist – their needs range from new, unused clothing, to things for their pantry like macaroni, cereal, cornmeal and fruit juices. They also can use supplies like toilet paper and laundry detergent. They also have an annual silent auction and can take items to be auctioned off. Contact them via email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 864.855.1708.
Safe Harbor, with locations in multiple counties to include Anderson County, has a wish list which you can find here: wishlist which includes cleaning products, household products, domestic items, over-the-counter medications, linens and dishes, baby and children’s needs, hair care products, resource labs supplies, and food items ranging from the essential grits to the important cake mixes. There are some limitations about what in-kind items they can accept, some of which are specified on their website. Call Safe Harbor at 864.385.7946 for donation item details, and to arrange pickup for large items.
St John’s United Methodist Church at 305 East River Street hosts an extensive clothes closet (it’s in its own building separate from the building with the bell and tower). Contact Pat and Mike Smith via phone 864.760.0353 or email Pat Smith to find out their current donation needs.
The Bridge Center Recovery at 2403 West Whitner Street opened their in-patient program in 2020, and can use skilled workers for a variety of projects: check out their “asks.“. Call Bradley at 864.540.8080 or email email@example.com to arrange to drop items off.
The Clemson Outdoor Lab hosts a number of camps for those with special needs:
- Camp Hope for children and adults who have developmental disabilities
- Camp Sertoma for children who are underprivileged or have a speech or hearing impairment
- Camp Lions Den for children who have visual impairments or are blind
- Camp Sunshine for children and adults who have severe or profound developmental disabilities
There is an extensive wishlist that supports all these camps that can be found here – wishlist – which encompasses string, garden hoses, Bobcat loaders, composite decking and everything in between. The list is long and varied – check it out if your items on hand will fill a need and email them at cuolcamps-L@clemson.edu or call them at 864.646.7502.
The Stringer Emergency Lodge at 112 Tolly Street, run by Anderson’s Salvation Army, shelters men, women and families with children as well as operates an emergency shelter in extreme conditions. They often have this additional shelter open during the winter. They feed many people across the course of the year. They can always use grits, eggs (they go through at least 72 each morning), individual oatmeal packages, hash browns (the dry ones), bagels, cream cheese tubs, cheese, onions, dry milk, chicken, rice, breadcrumbs, ketchup, green beans, butter beans, navy beans, pinto beans (the theme here is beans), peas, black-eyed peas, spinach, bell peppers, mayonnaise, and mustard. Meal partnerships for every day as well as holidays would be much appreciated. Call 864.225.7381 to confirm the best timing for drop-offs.
Foothills Alliance at 216 E Calhoun Street in Anderson can always use a variety of items from paper goods to new clothes (especially bras and underwear) – check out their donations needs here.