If you are clearing out your cupboards to welcome in the Lunar New Year, Secondsguru has recommendations on places that accept donations in Singapore for clothes, toys, furniture, books…
Spring cleaning as the Lunar New Year is a big thing for many households. After all, out with the old and in with the new, right? Odds are, your spring-cleaning endeavours have netted a slew of usual suspects – clothes that don’t fit, unwanted gifts, faded t-shirts, and the neverending pile of toys. If they’re all still in great condition (always ask yourself if you’d be happy to receive what you’re about to donate), consider finding your pre-loved items a new home by asking your friends, family and even your helper if anyone needs clothes, textiles, toys, furniture, books and other essentials. If you find no takers, then consult this list of amazing organisations to make your donations in Singapore, courtesy of the planet-loving team of Secondsguru.
Of course, the best way to avoid clutter is not to accumulate it in the first place. Buy less, re-use more, and buy experiences rather than things. Buy only what you need, from brands who are doing their best to help the planet. Finally, keep a lookout on Secondsguru’s calendar to stay updated on ad-hoc collection drives where you can drop off secondhand items. If you’re looking for more tips and suggestions on donations in Singapore, check out Secondsguru’s detailed Guide to Giving!
Most animal shelters welcome clean towels as these provide a versatile use for their residents – from playthings to cage lining and clean up. In addition to towels, SPCA accepts newspapers, medication and dog/cat food sometimes even domestic items like washing machines! Keep an eye on SPCA’s collection drives via their Facebook and Instagram pages. SOSD‘s collection box (open all hours, every day) is the Yellow Donation hut, right outside their shelter. Causes For Animals are happy to accept donations in Singapore at their centres; just get in touch to make sure they have the storage space. ASD is also always on the lookout for cash donations as well as donations in the form of dog food, flea and tick medication or heartworm medication.
Books Beyond Borders
Got a tonne of children’s books you’d like to donate? Hit up Books Beyond Borders! They accept second-hand book donations for adult fiction and non-fiction books, popular children’s books and teen fiction, and the funds used from reselling these books are then used for educational purposes in developing countries such as Nepal. Not sure if the books you want to donate meet the criteria? Check out their Giving Guide for a preview of what’s acceptable. The books must be in good condition, with no mould or torn pages. Books can be dropped off at the Books Beyond Borders store, but if you have more than 20 books in excellent condition, Books Beyond Borders can arrange for a pick-up. Arrange for pick-up via email or use the Live Chat feature on the website to arrange a pick-up or drop off time. Books Beyond Borders also accepts community donations if you’d rather write them a cheque.
Books Beyond Borders, Kong Beng Industrial Building, 41 Jalan Pemimpin #03-01E, Singapore 577186, [email protected], www.booksbeyondborders.org
Carousell is one of the most active preloved marketplaces in the city. Available as an app as well as on your desktop, it is an easy and efficient way to find buyers. Just price at $0 if you want to give away items for free!
If you’re donating clothes and accessories that are still in good condition, and are planning to refill the empty space left behind in the wardrobe, why not try clothes-swapping through start-ups like The Fashion Pulpit or Swapaholic? To participate, you will need to drop off the clothes/accessories at their centres in advance (typically in the CBD), and pay a small admin fee. Your contribution will be vetted for wear-and-tear, and likewise, you get to choose from good condition items at the swap event. There are also e-swapping options available!
If you’ve cleaned out your little one’s bookshelf, then consider donating these pre-loved pages to Dignity Mama. The organisation retails each secondhand book at its pop-up stalls, which are manned by young adults with special needs. This allows them to develop entrepreneurial skills in a supportive environment. The stalls are located in four hospitals across Singapore, and each book is sorted by the Dignity Mama staff before being resold at reasonable prices. You can drop books of directly at the Dignity Mama stalls at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital or National University Hospital.
Dignity Mama, www.projectdignity.sg/dignity-mama
This young enterprise is on a mission to improve Singapore’s abysmal 7% textile recycling rate. Their plan to get your cooperation? Making it super easy for you as you simply schedule a collection on their website instead of arranging drop off. In addition to clothes, Green Square also collects home textiles like bed linens and rugs, as well as shoes and accessories that are clean and wearable. Green Square’s facility sorts clothes so that the good quality piles are exported for resale, and the rest are recycled into industrial cleaning cloth. NB: Green Square currently does NOT accept toy donations in Singapore.
Green Square, www.greensquare.com.sg
Image Mission runs Dress For Success in Singapore, a social programme that helps women from low-income and distressed backgrounds secure jobs via coaching for interviews, and providing office-appropriate wardrobes. In case you have work-appropriate clothes (they are often short on plus-sizes), neutral colour bags or low-heeled office shoes to give away, just contact them. Image Mission isn’t accepting donations in Singapore at the moment, so call or email to check when donations will be open again.
Image Mission, 6 Ubi Road 1, #04-11 Wintech Centre, Singapore 408726, Email: [email protected], Tel: (+65) 6747 6510, www.imagemission.org
Metta Welfare Association
You can drop good condition clothes and accessories here for donation, but you can also drop off e-waste for recycling, too! Metta works with e-waste recycling firm Tes-Amm to safely dispose of used electronics and IT equipment. Tes-Amm will make a donation in-kind (ie. dried food supplies) of corresponding value to Metta for each item received, so the more you can recycle the better!
Metta Building, 32 Simei Street 1, Singapore 529950, www.metta.org.sg
OLIO connects neighbours and local businesses so that unwanted food can be donated, rather than wasted. Simply post what you don’t need and someone will contact you to arrange collection – ideal for condo and HDB living where we’re surrounded by neighbours! It can also be used for non-food household items.
Pass It On
This platform distributes unwanted items to low-income and needy families in Singapore. You can check the wishlist here to find out if anything you wish to pass on has been requested – items can be anything from toddler shoes to white goods.
Pass It On, The Helping Hand, 819 Upper Serangoon Road, Singapore 534678, Tel: (+65) 8511 9160 (calls are welcome on weekdays from 9am to 5pm), www.passiton.org.sg
The Salvation Army
They accept most used items for donation in Singapore and have drop-off locations islandwide here. But be aware they get more than they can use, so a vast number of items are ultimately shipped out of Singapore. Sometimes they aren’t accepting donations, so check first!
Salvation Army, multiple locations, Tel: (+65) 6555 0188, www.salvationarmy.org/singapore
Add continuity to your item when you download the ShareLeh app! The concept is simple: Snap a picture of the items you no longer want, write a short description of it, and share it on the app. Interested parties will connect with you via the app and you can arrange for the item to be mailed to them or for self-pickup. Not only does this minimise waste, it’s a great way to ensure your item goes to a household that really needs it.
Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO)
Drop off your pre-loved household items, shoes, bags and accessories at the SCWO New2u thrift shop. The items will be sorted and retailed for as low as $1, and the proceeds will go towards Star Shelter and other SCWO Initiatives.
Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations, 96 Waterloo Street, Singapore 187967, Tel: (+65) 6837 0611, www.scwo.org.sg
Social Media Forums
You can find takers for your pre-loved goodies on active Facebook groups. For baby things, targeted forums such as Preloved Baby Goods and East Coast Preloved Sales work well. Toys, books, breast pumps and all sorts of baby goods change hands fast in these networks. To give away for free, post on Blessing Items for Low Income Families, iamfreecycle and Freecycle.SG, or download the FreeGood app.
Direct donations to Soles4Souls can be made by filling up a donor form, attaching it to your donation and then calling Sak (see the contact details below!) to arrange for drop-off at its Sims Drive warehouse; call at least a day in advance! If you’re only able to drop off your items after working hours, fret not, because it’s quite safe to leave your items at the Soles4Souls doorstep – a CCTV camera monitors the entrance.
Soles4Souls, 705 Sims Drive, #02-12 Shun Li Industrial Complex, Singapore 387384, Email: [email protected], Tel: (+65) 8922 9874, www.soles4souls.org
Ten Feet Tall Shoes
If your child has outgrown their black school shoes, you can donate them to Ten Feet Tall Shoes (which also sells new school shoes). The donated pairs will be channelled to school-going kids from low income families in Cambodia, Vietnam, Bali and India. The Ten Feet Tall store at Holland Village collects throughout the year, and the team runs collection drives at school events now and then. Now that they have partnered with US not-for-profit Soles4Souls, they can accept ANY shoe in good condition. Current restrictions mean Ten Feet Tall isn’t accepting donations just yet, so feel free to save the shoes for summer 2021, or contact Soles4Souls directly to drop off your donations in Singapore.
Ten Feet Tall, Holland Road Shopping Centre, 211 Holland Avenue, #02-16, Singapore 278967, Tel: (+65) 6493 7244, www.tenfeettallshoes.com
Wondering what to do with your old spectacles now that you have new ones? Make your spectacles donations in Singapore to Visio Optical, which repurposes the frames for the underprivileged in Singapore. Currently, the store accepts old spectacles, distance glasses and sunglasses.
Visio Optical, 43 Holland Drive, #01-67, Singapore 270043, Tel: (+65) 6776 0052, www.visiooptical.com