Categories: Volunteering

Guide To Clothes, Books & Toys Donations To The Salvation Army, & How To Do Good While Thrift Shopping

Guide to donations to The Salvation Army


Spring cleaning can be a dreaded activity, but it certainly gives you a sense of accomplishment after you’re done. You’re left with piles of storybooks you no longer read and clothes you’ve grown out of. 

Not many of us have the patience to hawk our wares on Carousell, so here’s the next best alternative to tossing them in the bulky bin – donating them to The Salvation Army. 

We cover the bases from donation booths to volunteer opportunities below so you won’t feel bad about that bi-annual wardrobe cleanse. Here’s a guide to donating preloved items and even volunteering at The Salvation Army for the greater good.

Check out other places that you can volunteer at:


What items can I donate?


Clothes


Refusing to acknowledge how much money we’ve wasted on piles of apparel is what fuels our constant shopping. But if you’re ready to stop in your tracks and do a complete closet cleanse, save yourself some guilt by donating your heaping pile of preloved clothes to The Salvation Army.

They take in all articles of clothing – from menswear and sporting attire to baby clothes, with the exception of undergarments – as long as there are no visible stains or holes. 


Books


As technology advances and our houses get smaller, we all inevitably turn to the more practical solution of keeping our fav reads: e-books and Kindles.

If you’ve got a massive stash and you’re finally ready to bid farewell to the pages of your childhood, then pass it on to The Salvation Army as chances are, they’ll end up in the hands of someone who’ll love it as much as you do.

Sadly, your dog-earred copies of Teenage will have to be chucked in the recycling bins, as The Salvation Army doesn’t take any magazines or encyclopedias.


Toys


Just as in Toy Story, all children outgrow their toys some day, but that doesn’t mean that we should leave our once prized possessions in the incinerator. The Salvation Army accepts one-piece toys like Barbie dolls and plushies that are in pristine condition. 

Intricate toys with 1,001 removable parts unfortunately are not accepted for fear of them posing a choking hazard to younger children. 

You can even donate artwork
Image credit: The Salvation Army Singapore


Furniture and home appliances


Similar to clothing, The Salvation Army welcomes donations of bulkier items like furniture with open arms – as long as the condition is good. So whether it’s upgrading that 90s-style velvet couch or swapping out all your six dining chairs for new trendy rattan ones, you can give them a new lease of life at one of The Salvation Army’s family stores.

This also applies to unwanted home appliances like dryers, washing machines and even microwaves. You don’t want it, but someone else just might!


Electronics


Chancing upon the Nokia or Blackberry phone you used in your growing years in the depths of your drawers will undoubtedly open a floodgate of memories, but that shouldn’t be a reason to hoard them. 

The Salvation Army will be more than happy to take those outdated electronics off your hands if they’re still in working condition. Be it a 2009 macbook or an old radio, these now defunct electronic devices may still go a long way in helping a needy family.


Where can I donate preloved items?


There are a total of eight Donation In Kind booths across the island from Upper Changi Road North to Mandai Link Road and Jurong East. 

Image credit: Red Shield Industries

The majority of these booths operate 7 weeks a week with standard opening hours, so be sure to do your research beforehand to prevent a wasted trip. The IMM Open Car Park, Mandai Station, and Gracehaven booths on the other hand, are 24-hour booths that will let you drop things off at your convenience, even in the wee hours of the morning – whenever the cleaning bug hits. 

As for bulky items such as a 3-seater sofa, fridge or washing machine, you’ll need to make a prior booking via their website, email or phone to arrange a collection service. While the collection service is free of charge, you can opt to contribute a non-obligatory fee of $60 to offset the transportation and manpower costs to help these unsung heroes out.

Should you be generous enough to donate a piano, note this – these require the help of professional piano movers so there’ll be a fee involved.

Red Shield Industries sorting out items from their donation drive
Image credit: The Salvation Army Singapore

The team at Red Shield Industries under The Salvation Army QCs every one of them and sells them at the various Family Stores. It’s recommended that you only donate items that are in mint condition – proceeds from the store then go to helping the less fortunate, while items that don’t meet the criteria are recycled in a bid to reduce waste.


How can I donate money?


Image credit: The Salvation Army Singapore

Minimalists who don’t have a lot of unwanted items can make monetary donations, no matter how small the amount.

Although you may think a measly donation of $10 won’t make much of a difference, you will be surprised how far it can go to help someone in need. Just imagine if a million people thought to contribute $10, there’d be enough money for The Salvation Army’s many initiatives, so every dollar counts.

At present, your donations go to helping around 1,800 beneficiaries and many community programmes The Salvation Army runs:

  • Overseas disaster relief
  • Child sponsorship – provides support for children in other parts of the world in the form of purchasing school necessities and upgrading school facilities.
  • Their multiple nursing and rehabilitation centres
  • The Red Shield Club – helping needy individuals through fixed monthly donations

Simply hop over to their website and opt to donate online, through their PayNow QR code or download the donation form and mail it physically to them. Specific organisations that you have an intense passion for can also be indicated in the “Specific Use” box for your donations to reach them directly.

You can find out more about making a monetary donation here

You may identify with receiving gifts that you have little need for or ones that are simply not your style – if you’d like to change that and do something meaningful this birthday, opt for Special Occasions Giving. It redirects your guests to donating an amount to your chosen cause instead of purchasing gifts for you. 

The Salvation Army can even help you out by providing customised invitation cards containing party details and donation forms for your guests.


How can I volunteer?


Volunteer as a Befriender!
Image credit: The Salvation Army

Apart from monetary contributions and donations-in-kind, you can also offer your time as a volunteer at The Salvation Army. Good karma aside, you’ll be able to improve the quality of someone else’s life through social interaction or simply lending a hand at one of their fundraisers.

Individuals with the special gift of connecting with kids can volunteer as an academic or youth mentor. This will see you coaching children academically once every week over a period of three to six month, and organising activities for them once a month to create a positive impact in their lives.

For others who are skilled in other areas such as hairdressing, medicine or human resources can offer your services to their beneficiaries. Apart from that, you can help out in the event and logistic support department by sorting and packing donated items, or facilitating programmes and activities at the centres.

You can even volunteer as a bellringer during their annual Christmas Kettling
Image credit: The Salvation Army


Where can I go thrift shopping?


Image credit: The Salvation Army

If you enjoy the thrill of sifting through the racks and uncovering gems, then you can head to any one of The Salvation Army’s four family stores. From branded steals to vintage collectibles and affordable second-hand electronics, you’re bound to find something that strikes your fancy.

Shop on Reddshop!
Image credit: Reddshop

Couch potatoes who prefer lazing at home don’t have to miss out either. You can browse The Salvation Army’s Carousell and Reddshop.


Guide to donating, thrifting and volunteering at The Salvation Army


Aside from the more superficial motivation of beefing up your resume, explore the world of volunteering even if you haven’t done it before – perhaps you may even discover your true calling in life. Whether you’re sorting through donated items or doing some online thrift shopping on The Salvation Army’s website, you can make the world of a difference to the less fortunate.

Find out how else you can a difference to someone’s life:


Image adapted from: The Salvation Army and Red Shield Industries

Deborah Gan

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