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F EELING THE URGE to purge your basement, closet or toy room of things you haven't used in ages? Consider donating them instead of throwing them away. Not only will you help those in need, but you'll also avoid unnecessarily adding to landfill sites. Just make sure that items you're passing on aren't broken, missing pieces or unusable, so that the charities you're donating them to doesn't have to throw them out. Here are eight organizations that take donations of gently used items. Appliances, clothing and other household goods Many national and local associations accept goods that can be resold, with proceeds supporting charities or community groups. Some will even pick up larger items for free. But call your local chapter to see what they might need—or have space for— before dropping things off. DIABETES CANADA In most major cities across Canada, you'll find donation bins where you can place clothing, footwear, towels, blankets and bedding. If you schedule a pickup, you can also include electronics like cameras, laptops, tablets and gaming consoles, as well as toys, small appliances like blenders and irons, bakeware and pots and pans. HABITAT FOR HUMANITY There are over 100 Habitat ReStore locations across the country that accept appliances, furniture, light fixtures, tiles and unopened paint. Some branches also have pickup service. SALVATION ARMY Proceeds from items sold at the 200- plus Thrift Stores across the country go toward supporting the charity's programs and services. You can drop off clothing, toys, seasonal goods and housewares directly at their shops. GOODWILL Clothing, shoes, books, toys, sporting equipment and household goods donated to this charity are sold through their community stores or sent to their recycling centre. The sale of these items helps fund various programs, such as job training and family services. Your donation may also qualify for a tax receipt if it is worth over $200. HAKIM OPTICAL Drop off old glasses—including prescription reading glasses, single vision or bifocals, children's glasses and prescription or non- prescription sunglasses—at any of the company's 160 stores. Eyewear is distributed to those in need in Africa, the Philippines and the Caribbean. TINY TOY CO. Mail toys in good condition and small loose parts to this Toronto-based business, founded by Rebecca Saha, a teacher and librarian. She upcycles everything from metal cars to stray game pieces into learning kits and party favours. Electronics BEST BUY Your local Best Buy retailer can help you properly recycle old electronics, like cellphones, monitors, printers, televisions, audio or video systems, gaming consoles, microwaves and their related cords. Just make sure to erase any personal files or information from electronic devices. They'll also take old batteries for proper disposal. Cars KIDNEY CAR Whether your car is running or not, the Kidney Foundation of Canada will take it off your hands. Vehicles accepted for this program are either sold or recycled, with money going to support research and programs for kidney treatment and transplant patients.  18 | CAA MAGAZINE PHOTOGRAPHY KATE_SEPT2004/ISTOCK at home. SECOND LIFE Spring cleaning? Donating your gently used toys, electronics and other household items is a planet-friendly solution. by MEAGHAN WRAY GET ORGANIZED For the stuff you do want to keep, order boxes, baskets and other storage solutions online from such CAA Rewards® partners as Walmart and Linen Chest. For a complete list of CAA Rewards partners, visit

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