So you’re done spring-cleaning your home, now what? Instead of throwing away everything that doesn’t “spark joy”, donate your pre-loved items. Give these old-but-gold items a new lease of life by donating them to thrift stores and various organisations. These used items would benefit someone who might need it more than you do. From pantry goods to electronics, clothes and homeware, here are 13 places in Singapore to donate your items to.
Have pantry items you’re not going to use? The Food Bank Singapore will take it. Founded in 2012, the organisation aims to be a centralised coordinating body in Singapore that collects surplus food and donate them to almost 100,000 people each month through a network of approximately 200 charities, soup kitchens and the like.
In addition, the Food Bank also offers access and knowledge to cheaper source of food, find alternative and creative ways of maximising excess food.
To donate, simply drop off your cans and boxes of uneaten goodies at its Bank Boxes located all over the island, or directly to its warehouse.
Most useful donations: “Any foods in good condition and not expired or opened,” says co-founder Nichol Ng. But don’t feel like you need to run out and buy anything new. “We prefer that the food comes from homes where people are moving or relocating so it’s being put to good use.”
39 Keppel Road, Tanjong Pagar Distribution, #01-02/04, Singapore 089065.
Need an even better reason to clean out your closet? Your castoffs can clothe women and children who are victims of family violence. The Singapore Council of Women’s Organizations (SCWO) Star Shelter is Singapore’s only secular crisis centre that provides a safe and temporary refuge. “We also empower victims to rebuild their lives free from violence,” says programmes manager Amanda Ho.
Most useful donations: Established in 1980, SCWO’s Star Shelter service requires regular donations of food and household items, specifically toiletries and feminine hygiene products. For a full list, go here.
Offload almost anything for good at The Salvation Army, which will take all your unwanted things in usable condition, and sell them at super-low prices at multiple Family Stores across the island. Since 1935, the organisation has been raising money for the poor and less privileged families, especially in areas of nursing and rehabilitation, and for children’s homes such as Gracehaven and The Haven.
Most useful donations: You name it! Clothes, furniture, household goods, electronic devices, toys and books – all of these can be dropped off at its Donation In Kind Booths found at eight locations in Singapore. They also pick up bulky items like furniture and big appliances for an optional $60.
Ask for a collection note upon pick-up and receive an official non-tax deductible receipt in the mail.
Pregnancy can be challenging even for those with support. Imagine being a teenager who also has to deal with society’s often negative reaction. Babes works with pregnant youths aged 21 and below as well as their parents, to advocate for a more inclusive society, “where pregnant teenagers do not feel marginalised or estranged,” says Siti Fatimah, Community Partnership Executive.
It reaches out and offers help to pregnant teenagers in two primary ways: Through case management, where it works with the teenager to facilitate with family, friends and the wider community for support, and community integration, where it invites the community to take an active interest in advocating for support for affected young mums.
You can help either through cash or in-kind donations, or even as a volunteer. And if you are in need of some advice yourself or know of someone who does, try its 24-hour toll-free helpline (8111 3535).
Most useful donations: Milk powder (0-2 years of age), diapers and grocery vouchers. Free collection is possible.
26 Jalan Klinik, #01-42/52, Singapore 160026.
Set up in 2004, the Humanitarian Organization of Migration Economics (HOME) protects the rights of migrant workers against crimes such as human trafficking and forced labour.
“We help domestic workers and those from the shipbuilding and construction industries with issues ranging from overwork and inadequate food, to physical or psychological abuse and forced repartriation,” says Jo-Anne Aeria, director of partnerships and communications.
Besides working with government bodies, corporations and community agencies to promote values of justice, equality and inclusion, HOME also provides shelter, legal aid, food and vocational courses for migrant workers.
Most useful donations: Household items such as detergents, food items and toiletries. Staffers may also benefit from desktops, laptops, household appliances and healthcare equipment. Find out more here.
304 Orchard Road, #06-22 Lucky Plaza, Singapore 238863.
If you have home appliances, furniture, medical aids, mobility and learning aids in good working condition to get rid off, give them a new lease of life by listing them on the Pass-It-On website. Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs) in Singapore will get in touch with you if any of their clients need what you are offering.
The Metta Welfare Association has been dedicated to providing care for those in need since 1992. The provide help and support for a variety of needs, from medical care (including home hospice care for the terminally ill) to special education and training for children with mild intellectual disabilities, as well as other forms of community welfare services.
Most useful donations: Groceries that will help low-income families; wearable clothing, belts and handbags, books and newspapers, used computers, laptops, handphones. Visit here for more information.
The Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) runs four social enterprise thrift shops around the island, where they provide customer service and vocational training to the intellectually disabled. All sales proceeds go to the trainees are allowance. You may donate your preloved items here, as long as they are still in good working condition. See the full list of things you can and cannot donate here.
The NLB welcomes donations that will “enrich” their collection, so if you think your mini library at home has an artefact or two worthy of being accepted, go ahead and fill up this donation form. Acceptable items include: private papers and personal correspondences of Singapore pioneers who contributed to Singapore’s development; materials on the history of education, business, science and technology in Singapore, and more.
The RENEW (REcycling Nation’s Electronic Waste) programme is sponsored by Starhub, TES-AMM (an e-waste recycling company) and DHL, who handles the logistics of collecting the e-waste. You can recycle almost any electronic item with this programme, such as DVD players, keyboards, VCRs, routers, wires and printers, and you don’t have to be a Starhub customer to participate.
The only catch is that your items must fit through the bin’s slot, which is 470mm by 120mm. The great news is that there are currently 234 RENEW bins in 180 locations around the island. Click here to find out more about the programme and look under “List of RENEW Bin Sites” to find a drop off point near you.
For other e-waste programmes in Singapore, check out the NEA’s list of E-waste recycling programs here. There is even a programme that accepts used Ink & Toner Cartridges called “Project Homecoming”.
SGFREECYCLE is a great example of how social media can help us be environmentally-savvy. This is a Facebook group where you can give almost anything away for free, where old magazines to mooncake boxes and even shoelaces can find a new home. There are also generous families giving away electronics, beautiful furniture and many more fantastic items. It’s a non-profit site that is all about re-use and no item is too big or too small.
All items must be free and most items are marked as “self collect”. Join the group by clicking here and start posting your used goods.
If you have reading glasses or sunglasses you don’t need anymore, drop them off at Visio Optical. The store will channel them to people who are unable to afford or access quality eye care. They will receive the necessary eye exam and lenses will be made for them to fit the spectacle frames you donated.
Delivering “blessings” to disadvantaged kids and rural communities in Southeast Asia and Singapore, Blessings In A Bag accepts donations-in-kind from such as clothing, school supplies, hygiene products, and kids-related products to distribute to needy communities.
Check out their wish list here and see if there’s a match with the items you were intending to throw out.
Text: Priyanka Elhence, Christopher Ong, Muneerah Bee, The Finder / Additional reporting: Elizabeth Liew