Not Sure What to Do With All Your Extra Stuff? Where To Donate in Champaign-Urbana
If there’s one thing that’s certain about having a family – no matter the ages and stages – is that there is no shortage of “stuff” that accumulates over the years.
The following lists can help you figure out what to do with your excess when you live in or near Champaign-Urbana. Whether you’re looking to donate right now, don’t mind waiting a little bit longer, or have a very specific donation item, this information can hopefully point you in the right direction.
There are multiple benefits to donating our gently used goods (and some organizations can benefit from your not-so-gently-used-goods too).
By donating goods, a worthy non-profit organization benefits — and our list focuses on those that help people locally in the Champaign-Urbana community. By donating, those who can’t afford to purchase brand new items can find the goods they need at a price they can afford.
There are environmental benefits too; there is less waste floating around when donated items are purchased vs. discarded.
Making donations can result in a tax deduction (although starting in 2018 new tax rules may make this more difficult, so ask your tax professional). Be sure to get a receipt (but not all places/events will give them, so ask before you donate).
Editor’s Note: Please note that we do our best to keep up with each organization, but policies often change and we don’t always know about it. Please call ahead or visit websites if you have questions. Click on sites below for specific donation information.
Get Rid Of It NOW
The following organizations are always ready to accept clothes, toys, household items, and more. Clicking on the links will lead to more information about hours, drop-off locations, and individual store policies regarding what they will — and won’t — accept.
- Consider the condition of your items when donating. Most places are looking for gently used items, whether clothing or otherwise.
- We are big fans of Champaign’s Salt & Light, which recycles clothing (and fabrics of all types) and makes money by doing so. When you go to Salt & Light, they don’t require you to sort them; learn more about Salt & Light’s clothing recycling program here. Other organizations require that you mark such donations with recycling, and separate them from other goods that may be resold.
- If you want an item to be re-used but aren’t sure where to donate or recycle it, check out the The I.D.E.A. Store, now located in Urbana. It accepts items that are safe to reuse in art projects, and the list of what they’ll take is fairly large. It includes scraps of fabric, mismatched game pieces — even pop tabs and bottle caps. All are welcome to shop their collection of art supplies.
- Have large items such as furniture? Some Champaign-Urbana area organizations will offer to pick them up. What a great service! We list those below.
Direct Service Agencies
(where items are given away directly to those in need)
- Crisis Nursery 1309 W. Hill St., Urbana: baby/child clothing, baby/childcare items, office supplies, kids’ snacks, misc. items. Be sure to check out the link if you’d like to donate to them, as their needs are very specific. They prefer new items or items in excellent condition.
- Empty Tomb 301 N. Fourth St., Champaign: in-season clothing, household items, furniture. Empty Tomb takes up to five bags of men’s and women’s in-season clothing; any amount of of children’s and youth clothing; and household goods such as pots, pans, dishes, bedding, linens, up to room-size rugs and decorative items.
- Restoration Urban Ministries 1213 Parkland Ct., Champaign: in-season clothing, furniture, appliances, and household goods. Food, clothing, and small household items may be donated during the Clothing Pantry’s open hours Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 10AM-3PM. Furniture and larger household items are accepted on a case-by-case basis as storage space is extremely limited. Donations of toys and infant and child equipment are always needed.
- It Takes a Village: 601 E Main St, Suite 107, Mahomet. Accepts gently used children clothing and miscellaneous items for children; some adult clothing; small household items; linens.
(may benefit Direct Service Agencies)
- Salt & Light 1512 W. Anthony Dr., Champaign; 1819 S. Philo Road, Urbana: all conditions of clothes and shoes (anything that is unwearable is recycled, learn more about that HERE); furniture, and household items. They operate thrift stores, a full-service grocery, and a free technology center, all open to the public. Those who work at Salt & Light can earn credits to spend there. Benefits Salt & Light Ministries.
- ReStore 119 E. University Ave, Champaign: furniture, appliances, building materials, household items, books, some accessories. Note: They do not accept baby items, toys, clothes. Benefits Habitat for Humanity.
- Closed as of March 2020:
Salvation Army2212 N. Market St., Champaign: clothes, accessories, some furniture/household items, books, toys.
- Twice is Nice 607 W. Elm, Urbana: clothing, household items, small appliances, books, CDs, toys, accessories. This is a program of the First Presbyterian Church in Urbana; the website has more information about who benefits when you donate/shop there.
- The I.D.E.A. Store, now located in Lincoln Square, Urbana. A list of what they’ll take is fairly large, and it includes household items, arts and crafts supplies, office supplies and more — even scraps of fabric and mismatched game pieces! The I.D.E.A Store originally benefited the Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation but now is independent: “you support sustainability, social change, and the joy of creating.”
- Carle Auxiliary Resale Boutique Corner of Lincoln and University in Urbana. Accepts clothing and shoes in good, clean condition; household items, home décor, books, DVD’s and CD’s, small working electrical items, jewelry, linens, holiday items, antiques, games and puzzles. Funds the Carle Auxiliary Guest House, student scholarships, baby shirts for newborns, Professional Excellence Awards to Carle nurses and other philanthropic projects.
- Seek and Find Thrift Store 223 Gerard Ave., Rantoul. Accepts gently used men’s, women’s and children’s clothing; games, toys and sports equipment; small household goods and furnishings; furniture. Benefits Seek and Find Ministries.
- Orphans Treasure Box 826 Pioneer St., Champaign. Books, CDs, DVDs, educational games and learning tools. Check here to see what they accept and guidelines. Benefits orphans and their caregivers.
- Willow Tree Resale Shop, 351 W. Monroe St., Monticello. Accepts a wide variety of items, including gently used clothes, electronics, books, jewelry, sporting goods, DVD’s, CD’s, VHS, Records, 8-tracks, computer accessories and more. Check the list before you go. Funds the Willow Tree Mission Domestic Violence program.
- Goodwill 1201 Savoy Plaza Lane, Savoy and 912 W. Anthony Drive, Champaign: clothing, accessories, some furniture, household items, books, CDs. (Note: while there are other Goodwill training sites around Central Illinois, there is not one in Champaign-Urbana.)
When You Have Large Items: Who will Pick Up Donations
- Empty Tomb: If you live in Champaign, Urbana, or Savoy, arrangements can be made to pick up the following furniture items that are in good condition including mattresses/box springs/bed frames; Sofa/Couch; Kitchen Table & Chairs; Dresser/Chest of Drawers. Call 356-2262.
- ReStore: They take a wide variety of stuff including things like doors, windows, furniture, toilets – even the kitchen sink. They offer pick-up services, call 355-6460.
- Salt & Light: Offers contact-less furniture pick-up. Call the store at 355-5654.
When You Don’t Mind Waiting A Bit Longer
The following organizations take donations to supply their annual rummage sale-style fundraisers.
NOTE: The information in the links tends to be about past years’ events; contact each organization for information.
- YMCA Dump and Run Sale Drop-off of items occurs at the end of U of I’s spring semester, early May; sale is in August. The main concept behind this fundraiser is to collect items students would otherwise dispose of (read: abandon) during the spring move-out and sell it to the incoming crop of young academics in the fall. Genius. They even take toys and stuffed animals! They do not collect: televisions, paint, child/infant car seats, stoves, washers, dryers, non-working electronics & computer parts, sleeper sofas, mattresses, televisions, or large exercise equipment.
Donating Very Specific Stuff: Books, Stuffed Animals, Eyeglasses, Prom Dresses and more
Books: Our readers recommend where to donate children’s books HERE. Consider benefiting local libraries including Champaign, Urbana, Mahomet, and Tolono. Each has its own rules on how, what, and when to donate. Depending on the library, your donation might end up in the general collection, but more likely it will end up in a book sale. Some libraries also accept media including DVDs, CDs, and video games.
If you have an old bike, even if it needs some repair, consider donating it to The Bike Project of Champaign-Urbana. They sell restored bikes at reasonable prices, and advocate for a bike-friendly community.
Have a prom dress to donate? We wrote about specific places to donate prom dresses here. There are sometimes seasonal sales that pop up around Champaign- Urbana in the late winter, but most thrift stores take them regardless.
Want to donate Halloween costumes for kids? Typically, the Champaign Park District holds a costume donation drive each October.