Used Items: Can I Donate That?

donating used items to a child
A woman hands a warm blanket to a child in need.

Most people donate the items they no longer use when clearing out their closets and other areas of the home. One of the best places to donate these items is to foster children and the families who take care of them. But when it comes to used items, how do you know if you can donate them or if they should be thrown away instead? Take a look at our simple guide for common donation items below.


Clothing can be very gently worn but should be in at least very good condition. Proper donations should be free of holes, rips, tears, or significant stains. They also should not be stretched out – such as at the neckline or sleeves. If your clothing items are ripped, stained, or stretched out you should throw them away instead of donating them. Used undergarments are also not appropriate to donate.

Beauty Products

Beauty products should be unopened and within their expiration date. This includes items like makeup, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, hair spray, etc.


Linens like bedding or towels are always in high demand. To make a good donation, however, they should be free of rips, tearing, or large stains (including bleach stains). The hemlines should also be intact, meaning that there is no unraveling of the cloth.


Food donations should be unopened, within their specified dates, and non-perishable. Non-perishable items are typically stored in boxes, jars, or cans.


Toys are great donations if they are either unopened or in very gently used condition. There should be no missing parts, and donated toys should not be broken. Battery operated toys should come with the battery pack intact for safety reasons.

Find More Donatable Used Items

If you have any other questions or would like more information on how you can help foster children in need contact us today.