Sources for Garden Materials & Donations
Have something in your garden that you’d like to sell or give away? Looking for low-cost building materials, outdoor furniture or tools? The following organizations and websites can be a great resource. Many of these organizations give back to their communities with job training, services, food and even disaster relief. The materials donated and/or purchased not only save you money, but also keep them out of the landfill. Your donations to the non-profit organizations are also tax-deductible.
Used Building Materials
To locate sources for used building materials in your area, type “[your city/town] used building materials” in your favorite search engine online. Also check with your local lumberyards for scrap materials that they will sell at a greatly reduced price or even give away free. Check your local paper or online for garage sales advertising garden or construction materials. If you have materials to give away, list under “garage sales” and post on community bulletin boards.
Habitat for Humanity ReStores
Habitat for Humanity believes that every man, woman and child should have a decent, safe and affordable place to live. They build and repair houses all over the world using volunteer labor and donations. Their partner families purchase these houses through no-profit, no-interest mortgage loans or innovative financing methods. Habitat for Humanity ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price. These ReStores are proudly owned and operated by local Habitat for Humanity affiliates, and proceeds are used to build homes, community, and hope locally and around the world. Habitat for Humanity International is a tax-exempt 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization.
Search for your local ReStore throughout the US and Canada online: http://www.habitat.org/restores
Online Networks and Auctions
The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 5,098 groups with 9,375,062 members around the world. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who donate or get stuff for free in their own towns. A great concept in that it is all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by local volunteers and membership is free.
To sign up, visit: http://www.freecycle.org/
Find your community by entering it into the search box or by clicking on 'Browse Groups' above the search box.
E-BayRather than donate, many people use E-Bay to sell larger and/or more valuable discards. In the Yard-Garden-Outdoor-Living section, you can find or sell just about anything including bird & wildlife accessories, flowers, trees & plants, garden décor, garden structures & fencing, gardening supplies, outdoor lighting and patio & garden furniture.
Craigs List is an online listing of local classifieds and forums - community moderated, and largely free. Started in 1995 by Craig Newmark with an email list of San Francisco events, Craigslist was incorporated as a for-profit business in 1999. The international website provides listings, per country, state and city, for jobs, housing, goods, services, romance, local activities, and even advice.
In the Farm + Garden section you’ll find plants, plywood, bricks, gardening tools, composter and irrigation supplies. Also check Materials, where you can find bricks, decking and other construction materials. There’s also a section to list wanted items. To find listings near your home, go to:
Charitable Organizations/Thrift Stores:
Many people are familiar with the thrift stores run by charitable organizations, including Goodwill International, The Salvation Army and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. While these stores usually offer jeans, business attire, infant and children’s clothing, housewares, appliances and furniture, you can often find garden furniture, flower pots and items that could be repurposed into one-of-a-kind garden accessories. These organizations are listed as 501 (c)(3) non-profit organizations.
Local Thrift Stores
Check the Yellow Pages in your phone book under Thrift Stores to find local organizations. The proceeds generally go directly to local services and programs to benefit your immediate community.
Goodwill Industries International
Goodwill works to enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals and families by strengthening communities, eliminating barriers to opportunity, and helping people in need reach their full potential through learning and the power of work. Goodwill provides employment and training programs to disabled individuals and those who might otherwise have barriers to employment. To date, Goodwill has provided training to over 6.7 million people in the US and Canada. Over 2,650 Goodwill stores in the United States and Canada are independently owned and operated. Locate your local Goodwill retail store online at: http://www.goodwill.org/get-involved/shop/
There is also an online auction site: www.shopgoodwill.com
Goodwill Industries International is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
The Salvation Army has provided assistance to those in need for over 100 years. The organization’s mission is: “To preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination”.
In this new century, The Salvation Army is serving more people in the USA than ever before with large increases in the number of Americans seeking the basic necessities of life - food, shelter, and warmth. Approximately 30 million people received help from The Salvation Army in 2011 and the organization is currently responding to multiple locations in the Plains and Midwest that were impacted by recent tornadoes.
The organization supports communities and individuals at many levels, and through the funds raised from their stores to generous donations have built and operated over 23 Kroc Community Centers, run youth camps and recreation programs, and provide prisoner and drug and alcohol rehabilitation, and elderly services throughout the US.
To find a location near you, visit: http://www.salvationarmyusa.org
To discuss a pick up of your items or to find out the nearest drop off location, call 1-800-SA-TRUCK (1-800-728-7825)
Society of St. Vincent de Paul
The Society was founded in 1833 in Paris by Frederic Ozanam who, as a university student in Paris, was moved by the plight of the poor and were challenged to put their Catholic faith into action. He and his companions adopted St. Vincent de Paul as the Society’s patron because he cared for the poor, forgotten and downtrodden of Paris, where the international office remains today.
In the US, the Society offers many service programs including home visits, housing assistance, disaster relief (including assisting the victims of the recent tornadoes in the Midwest and Plains states), job training and placement, food pantries, thrift stores, dining halls, clothing, transportation and utility costs, and care for the elderly. Purchases and donations help support these many programs.
To locate a store in your area, visit: http://www.svdpusa.org