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Work in nearing completion on the Art Deco-styled Salvation Army Building on Bagley across from DTE HQ in downtown Detroit. A conversation with Scott Simons of DTE Public Relations revealed that the restoration / renovation will be completed around the end of December.

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  1. #1

    Default Best Place in Detroit to Donate Clothes To.

    Can anyone give me a recommendation for the best place to donate clothes to within or around Detroit? I have three giant black bags full of some hardly used clothes and shoes, and I'm sick of Salvation Army's picky and absurd policies. I'm not looking to make cash, I just want them to go to good use. Thank you!

  2. #2
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    In what way is Salvation Army picky and absurd? Aren't they the charity that has the best reputation for passing on the maximum value to the intended recipients? That should be worth something.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2009
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    I quit giving to the Salvation Army because IMO, they are way over priced. What good does it do to give to a charity when people who need the clothes can't afford them? Instead, I give my stuff to Hospice, or donate to a Relay for Life garage sale.

  4. #4
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    Everyone in my family donates to Purple Heart. I did when I lived in East Detroit. My sister has 2 growing kids and she's always calling them. They come at the expected time too.

  5. #5
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    Mar 2009
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    I've had good results with St Vincent de Paul, Purple Heart and the Kidney Foundation. Local numbers, most will pick up from your porch or garage when they say they will. You will need to be home if you want the tax credit slip though.

    I have two problems with both the Salvation Army and Goodwill. First, they don't always pick up when they say they will. I came home to ripped bags on my doorstep where the squirrels decided to investigate. And two, there were some rumors during the Katrina time frame of warehouses overflowing with stuff they were 'too busy' to distribute.

    Good Luck!

  6. #6
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    Mar 2009
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    I like Purple Heart. You can arrange for pickup online here:

    http://detroit.donatestuff.com/

    They leave the receipt in the door for me.

    Here is what they take / don't take:
    While clothing (Women's, Men's, Children and infant) is our main concern, we DO TAKE:

    Jewelry
    Shoes
    Purses
    Hats
    Toys
    Pictures
    Mirrors
    Blankets
    Drapes/Curtains
    Pillows
    Rags
    Sewing Scraps
    Sleeping Bags
    Small Furniture
    Small Appliances
    Irons
    Radios
    TV's
    Lamps
    Hairdryers
    Tools
    Toasters
    Microwaves
    Coffee Makers
    Silverware
    Dishes
    Pots/Pans
    Glasses
    *anything one man is able to carry without assistance

    We DO NOT TAKE:


    Large Furniture
    Large Appliances
    Magazines
    Newspapers
    Car Seats
    Cribs

  7. #7

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    Thanks so much for the suggestions, guys! I say that about the Salvation Army because I once dropped off bags of perfectly good clothes and household items and watched as they slung the bags directly into the dumpsters as I was driving away. Of course, I went back and snatched them up. My old boss had a similar experience with them as well. I've also watched them turn goods away because their store was at "maximum capacity". You'd think they'd be able to transfer items to another location if they really cared. I think they're getting too big and running like a ruthless corporation rather than a charitable organization.

  8. #8
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    Okay. I learn something new every day.

    A local Salvation Army was so wildly successful that they had to move into a larger building. A St. Vincent de Paul immediately moved into their old location. There seems to be a good reputation of contribution at that location.

    We're adapting well to hard times.

  9. #9
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    I have seen SA receivers in my town throwing things in the dumpster too. Plus they seem to leave a lot of things outside in the weather because they don't have room inside.

  10. #10
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    Apr 2009
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    You want your donations to be most useful so they don't get thrown away or, like so many places, get shoved into an already overflowing donation closet. You really don't want to be the asshole that dumps a bunch of useless crap on an organization that has to smile and be grateful then plan how to get rid of it. (This happens so often and sometimes hilariously.)

    I'm finding that it helps to match the type of clothes I have to the organization.

    For example: most soup kitchens don't use women's clothes. St Als and the Detroit Rescue Mission specifically don't take them. They want warm men's clothing.

    If you've got young hip looking women's clothes or babies clothes then Covenant House, Boys Hope Girls Hope or Alternatives for Girls would be a good choice

    If you've got women's businees clothes then the Rescue Mission's genesis homes (I think that's what they are called) or a woman-only treatment center or three-quarter house is a good place.

    plus sized women's clothes are alwasy more needed than straight sizes.

    I call the place that I want to donate to. I tell them what I have, ask what they need and tell them I don't want to burden them with something they can't use. Most places get back to me right away and I take out the stuff they could use.

    (I personally donate clothes to Home of New Vision in Ann Arbor because I have a personal connection to them and I deeply respect their mission but this advice works regardless)

  11. #11
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    Mar 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by annalouise View Post
    You want your donations to be most useful so they don't get thrown away or, like so many places, get shoved into an already overflowing donation closet. You really don't want to be the asshole that dumps a bunch of useless crap on an organization that has to smile and be grateful then plan how to get rid of it. (This happens so often and sometimes hilariously.)

    I'm finding that it helps to match the type of clothes I have to the organization.

    For example: most soup kitchens don't use women's clothes. St Als and the Detroit Rescue Mission specifically don't take them. They want warm men's clothing.

    If you've got young hip looking women's clothes or babies clothes then Covenant House, Boys Hope Girls Hope or Alternatives for Girls would be a good choice

    If you've got women's businees clothes then the Rescue Mission's genesis homes (I think that's what they are called) or a woman-only treatment center or three-quarter house is a good place.

    plus sized women's clothes are alwasy more needed than straight sizes.

    I call the place that I want to donate to. I tell them what I have, ask what they need and tell them I don't want to burden them with something they can't use. Most places get back to me right away and I take out the stuff they could use.

    (I personally donate clothes to Home of New Vision in Ann Arbor because I have a personal connection to them and I deeply respect their mission but this advice works regardless)
    Thank you for that...which is very helpful. I had problems too trying to donate. I give my old furniture and housewares to the Vietnam Veterans of America. I hear that you should stay away from those clothing bins you see at gas stations and party stores. I'm not sure where those clothes go, but it's rumored they go overseas.

  12. #12
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    Apr 2009
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    I donated to all of them. My choice for a long time has been Capuchin Brothers, Medbury & Mt Elliot (just off of I-94 & Mt. Elliot).
    They will take anything....They do not sell the donated items (as far as I know), they give it away to the needy.
    This is the main reason I donate to them...no reselling!!!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jba View Post
    I donated to all of them. My choice for a long time has been Capuchin Brothers, Medbury & Mt Elliot (just off of I-94 & Mt. Elliot).
    They will take anything....They do not sell the donated items (as far as I know), they give it away to the needy.
    This is the main reason I donate to them...no reselling!!!
    When can you drop stuff off? Do they have specific days and/or times? Now that I'm working downtown again this might be quite convenient for me.

    Being lazy, could look it up and find out for myself.

  14. #14
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    Mar 2009
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    South Oakland Shelter in Royal Oak. All charities SHOULD be picky. It takes time to sort through clothes. Ive seen clothing and shoes that should be discarded dropped off. Also a church on one occasion dropped off a box of no name brand food that was full of half filled boxes of stale cereal.

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