We’ve rounded up our favorite donation centers in Tempe, Arizona. Before you get rid of your unwanted items consider these locations for drop-off – some offer donation pickup services.
Paying It Forward – A Donation Center Dedicated to Education
We’ve all heard that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, well it this case your junk is another teacher’s treasure. If your know teacher then you’ve heard many a tale of woe, Johnny threw up again because he won’t stop licking the desks, Sally ate an entire gluestick, Jessica gave three different girls a haircut, and Joe got a rock stuck up his nose. But the most common frustration… there’s not enough (fill in the blank). Paper, glue, folders, pencils, binders…. the list of needed supplies is never-ending. As school funding takes hit after hit the shortage of supplies keeps getting worse.
That’s why Barbara Blalock founded Treasures 4 Teachers in Tempe, AZ. When she first started her campaign she asked for donations from large companies like Intel and Motorola. She was just hoping to get any extra office supplies they didn’t really need. Instead, she got a garage full of supplies. Many companies like them participate in “Dump the Junk” activities and donate extra or unused office supplies to T4T.
Barbara then redistributed all that junk to teachers across the Valley. Over the years the organization has grown, from what started as a garage charity, T4T now fills a 12,000 square foot space in Tempe, where teachers can go to get supplies at very low costs if not for free.
Community Banding Together
People have flocked to the cause donating, not only school supplies but everyday household items too. At first, most of the items were taken to other charities. But recently, T4T opened a thrift store, where they sell donated items to raise money to buy even more school supplies. This isn’t your run of the mill Goodwill ether. The manager, Saundra Salotti, has transformed an everyday thrift store into a stylish boutique.
How You Can Help
When it comes time to haul off your junk consider turning it into treasures for a local teacher by giving it to T4T. They even offer free pick up. There are a few stipulations like boxing or bagging your items and having them ready near the door. But since they are providing such a great service to our teachers its worth a little extra effort to follow their guidelines. They accept items ranging from clothing, blankets, and towels to kitchen items, electronics, books, and toys. They don’t accept chemical or hazardous materials, appliances or large box TVs. So if you still have a TV from the 90’s you’ll have to donate it somewhere else.
If you don’t have any junk to donate to the cause, stop by the T4T Thrift store and see what treasures await you!
You might not think it’s a donation center at first, or for that matter a thrift store when taking a trip to Gracie’s Thrift Store. This unique thrift store is located in downtown Tempe near East Apache and South Butte Avenue. It’s also managed by Gracie’s Ministries and is very popular with young local college students and shoppers. What makes Gracie’s thrift store so interesting is the excellent variety of items from A to Z.
This is an excellent way to find seasonal décor items for Christmas and especially Halloween, near-antique furniture, and houseware items. They offer drop-off donations on the side of the building from Monday through Saturday for anything that you don’t need in your home anymore. It’s also one of the few places where you can find outstanding collections of figurines and home décor items.
When it comes to second-hand clothing, their selection cannot be more complimentary for their collection of upscale clothing items. The cost savings is often 50% of the price you might pay at the local Target or Walmart and all the proceeds go to help Gracie’s Ministries.
This is one very special kind of donation center in Tempe that will have appeal to those who just don’t know what to do with their leftover or expired chemical waste. What makes it even more interesting is that it’s a drop-off service where you pull in and drop off your items at the offloading bay. They aren’t very concerned about what you drop off but items that are still in containers and bottles should be sealed when dropped off.
The only exception is that all items must be dropped off in a pick-up truck bed, trunk, or from the rear hatch of a car. All items must also be transported in cardboard boxes that cannot be returned. Obviously, you must show a utility bill that proves you are a resident. They accept a wide variety of waste materials from old solvents to empty aerosol cans. There’s also a section in their Swap Area where you can take up to 30 items for free!
There’s no guarantee that any of these free items will be as fresh as they appear so anything taken needs to have an indemnification paper signed before taking them away. Because this facility is helping to keep hazardous household products from ending up in landfills, this is a great way to safely get rid of everyday items around the house or garage for free.
Talk about a bicycle center that is helping one good turn help others who enjoy riding their bike. This specialized program has started in a backyard and expanded into an entire outreach program for donating bikes and bike parts. Interestingly, people can not only donate a bike but learn how to build their own custom bike from the collection of bike frames and spare parts!
They offer a non-profit tax exemption for all money donations but accept bike parts no matter what shape they’re in. They also accept used tools, gently used clothing, old towels or shirts that can be turned into shop rags, and office supplies such as pencils, pens, paper, and other useful items. In addition to their bike building classes, they also feature a bike art and jewelry making class from bike parts.
You can also learn how to repair your own bike using their facilities and purchase a bike based on a work/trade agreement! If you have leftover bike parts, Bike Saviors in Tempe is accepting anything only on Mondays starting at 12 to 6pm.
Kids are known for growing like weeds and it’s always a task to keep up with their growth spurts that are essentially ongoing. Thankfully, Once Upon A Child has found the ultimate answer for finding children’s clothing. They offer cash on the spot whenever you visit their Tempe location on 1628 E. Southern Avenue. There is no specific appointment that’s needed, just bring in whatever kid clothes or accessories you have and they’ll pay you out.
They also are a great place to find the latest new items that will be perfect to get outstanding discounts every day. Even special days including Tote bag Tuesday gives you an additional 20% off when you fill your bag with any collection of items. it’s more than a great exchange place for fashionable kid’s clothes, shoes, and toys, it’s a better way to keep up with your growing children.
Even if you can’t get around to shopping in person, they also offer online shopping with delivery with their complete online shop. They also offer great rewards with a rewards program for parents who have a need to bring in and buy clothing more often. They are more than a donation center since the option to get back something in return. This makes one good turn for another who might be looking to work on a tight budget.
Given that Hidden Treasures is working closely with four prominent churches in the area, their working partners include Desert Cross Lutheran Church, Light of Christ Church, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, and Mountain View Lutheran Church. Hidden treasures operate as a non-profit thrift store that accepts a wide variety of used items that are in good condition. They also feature certain items on Facebook and Craigslist that have some value.
Oddly enough, they feature a Silent Auction area in their thrift store for selected items that are considered more unique in their collection. One thankful aspect of the Hidden Treasures thrift shop is that all items are tax-deductible. If it’s an item that comes from your home or garage and is still in reasonable condition, they’ll be happy to take it off your hands. Donations also include free pickup with a scheduled call beforehand.
About the only things they don’t accept are fridges, washing machines, dryers, or computer equipment and TVs that are outdated. All of their best items are advertised on Facebook for their silent auction but you must be in person to bid on these items.
Additional Phoenix Donation Centers
Do you have furniture or appliances that are in good condition? If so, you could qualify to have them hauled away for free and get a tax write-off for your charitable donation. Select from the options below to find a donation center near you. To see our top centers in Phoenix, click here.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters Donation Pickup
- Goodwill Donation Pickup
- Habitat For Humanity Donation Pickup
- Salvation Army Donation Pickup
- Society of St. Vincent De Paul Donation Pickup
- Upward Foundation Donation Pickup
As always, Arizona Junk Removal supports our local donation centers by picking up your bulk donation items and dropping them off at local centers for you. Call today to schedule a pickup, 602-799-4181.