There are all kinds of fantastic reasons to upcycle, thrift shop and to donate items for others to be re-homed, repurposed or just newly loved! Thrift shopping is great for saving money, it's so much better for the environment to reuse a previously loved item rather than buying new, or to re-sell or donate an item rather than letting it hit the landfill. Often, by donating goods, you are also supporting local charities.
“There is no such thing as ‘away’. When we throw anything away it must go somewhere.”
– Annie Leonard, Proponent of Sustainability
Furniture and Housewares Donations
In addition to using the free donation groups on Facebook, or donating the local thrift stores, here are some very worthy causes to consider donating your bigger items to.
Find provides essential furnishings free of charge to individuals and families who are moving out of homelessness, and supplying low-cost, quality furniture and housewares for sale to the public. They have an online thrift store with all proceeds benefiting those transitioning out of homelessness. They are doing great things! In 2019, Find furnished 1583 homes with community donations and helped over 2500 people move out of homelessness.
Fort Saskatchewan Furniture Bank
*Currently in hibernation because of Covid-19. They provide gently used furniture and household items to help furnish homes for those in need of a hand up. Anyone that lives in or is relocating to Fort Saskatchewan who is fleeing domestic abuse, transitioning out of homelessness, is a newcomer to Canada and/or escaping fire or flood can get assistance from this group. They are a virtual furniture bank that uses Facebook as their main information portal.
Habitat for Humanity ReStore
Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit that partners with working, low-income families to help them build strength, stability and independence through affordable homeownership. The donations to their ReStore centres help fund some of these builds. ReStore centre just opened in Sherwood Park, but they also offer pick up weekly.
Facebook's Local Up-cycling Community
Hodge Podge Lodge
*Currently in hibernation because of Covid-19. Launched as a fantastic pilot project to keep reusable stuff out of our landfills, the Hodge Podge Lodge is located at the Broadview Enviroservice Station in Sherwood Park. It is an incredible resource, staffed and organized fully by volunteers who work in shifts. If you're able to lend a hand, just click on the link for more details.
Old Blankets & Stuffies
Old blankets & stuffed animals can be really difficult for donation centres, no matter how clean we think our homes are. Animal rescues are always looking for these things & your donation could mean a lot to a terrified dog or cat coming into a rescue centre from an abusive or neglectful situation. Here are links to some spots we know about...
Thrift and Consignment Stores
Thrift stores are another, rather awesome way to keep items out of the landfill! Just to keep it in perspective... Salvation Army alone reported in 2019 that their thrift stores diverted 73 million pounds of goods from local landfills. Yay, team!
- City Liquidation [Fort Saskatchewan] Independent thrift store, pawn shop.
- County Clothesline Foundation [Sherwood Park] All proceeds stay within Strathcona County, giving back to the community.
- Elk Island Thrift Store [Lamont] Okay, it's not in Strathcona County, but for the true thrift store lover, it is well worth the drive.
- Goodwill [Sherwood Park] Goodwill is a non-profit with a mission to provide employment to people with disabilities.
- Little Bo-tique - Children's consignment store in Sherwood Park.
- Once Upon a Child - Children's consignment store, in Sherwood Park, franchise of Winmark Corporation
- Salvation Army [Sherwood Park] A non-profit Christian organization that offers social services to those in need.
- Twice But Nice - Consignment store in downtown Fort Saskatchewan, no website
- Value Village [Sherwood Park] A division of Savers, an international corporation of for profit thrift stores.