Trying to get rid of that old sofa you’ve had since college? Finally, upgrade to a king-sized bed? There are many ways to remove old furniture from your home, from selling it online to paying a professional to haul it away. The most rewarding option is to donate it. Not only will you improve someone else’s life, but you could also get a sizable tax write-off. These Chicago furniture donation charities will help make the process smoother.
Howard Brown Health is a Chicago-based nonprofit that seeks to provide equal healthcare access for LGBTQ individuals. The organization provides a range of services that include medical care, research, and community outreach. It also operates a youth center for at-risk teens. The Brown Elephant Resale Shops are Howard Brown Health’s secondhand shops with three locations across Chicago. They accept furniture donations that are in good condition with no damage, stains, or pet hair. The following are specifically not accepted:
Most people are familiar with Goodwill, a national US chain of thrift stores that sell everything from clothing to furniture. The proceeds from these stores fund initiatives to help train those in need to get jobs. Goodwill states that it helped nearly 300,000 people find employment in 2017 alone, some of whom work at the thrift stores themselves.
To schedule a Chicago furniture donation through Goodwill, visit their website and find the nearest location to you. You’ll also be able to inquire about the types of furniture donations that are accepted, as this may vary by location.
Though it’s not a nonprofit, the proceeds from Sinai Health System’s resale shop still go to a good cause. Run by Mount Sinai Hospital’s Women’s Board, the shop is volunteer-run and its mission is to support patient care programs. In the past, profits have paid for incubators for the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and laser instruments for surgical departments. The resale shop will accept just about any type of furniture donation as long as it’s in good condition, with the exception of mattresses and box springs.
World-renowned charity Habitat for Humanity has a local branch in Chicago, which may not come as a surprise considering they currently operate on six continents. The organization’s mission is to increase access to affordable housing.
Habitat for Humanity’s local Chicago thrift shop is called ReStore. It’s located in the northwest suburbs, but donations will be picked up from anywhere in the city. The list of accepted items is much broader than other Chicago furniture donation centers and even includes used home improvement items and appliances.
ReVive is a local Chicago nonprofit that aims to end homelessness and provide affordable housing. Families and individuals alike can find housing options through its many programs, including several last-resort hotels and community programs. These are all funded in part by Second Chance, ReVive’s thrift store on the Near West Side. The thrift store is well-respected among Chicagoans and is even one of the top-rated secondhand shops in the city.
Another national chain, Salvation Army operates several thrift stores in the Chicago area that accept furniture donations. The proceeds from these locations fund a network of Adult Rehabilitation Centers where adults struggling with substance abuse can go to receive help.
However, the Salvation Army does much more; its programs deal with issues from human trafficking to disaster relief. In fact, approximately 25 million Americans receive assistance from the Salvation Army each year, and the international branches of the organization reach people in 130 countries around the world.
If you want your Chicago furniture donation to go directly to someone who really needs it, the Chicago Furniture Bank is your best option. Once a member of the organization picks up your furniture, it’s taken to an individual or family in transitional housing. While the pickup is technically free, it’s suggested that you make an additional monetary donation if you’re able to.
The Chicago Furniture Bank does not accept the following types of furniture:
International organization St. Vincent de Paul is a longtime staple in Chicago charities; it’s been operating in the city since the mid-1800s. The overall mission to help the less fortunate includes rent assistance programs and a large network of food banks. It’s estimated that around 800,000 Chicago residents are served by these programs each year.
St. Vincent de Paul also operates three local thrift stores that accept furniture donations. Anyone is allowed to shop at the stores, although individuals in various charity programs receive vouchers that they can use to shop for free. Note that in order to qualify for free furniture pickup you’re asked to donate at least three pieces of furniture.
If you move frequently and find yourself in a constant cycle of getting rid of furniture, it might be time to start renting furnished apartments. Not only are these apartments more cost-effective for nomads, they also reduce the time and frustration that accompany frequent moves. Blueground is a great option for medium- and long-term rentals that come fully furnished with tasteful pieces you won’t want to get rid of.