Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Help a Mom: Where to donate small trinkets, random items

Posted January 1, 2013

As we all clear out the clutter of Christmas and wonder where to put it all, a reader asks a question that might be on many of our minds. Here's what she wrote:

What do people do with the abundance of little trinkets and random small items that aren't trash, but can't necessarily be taken to Goodwill? I have a full bag of stuff like this ranging from Chick-fil-A meal books and cell phone cases to small stuffed animals and plastic cups. I don't want it in the landfill, but I'm not able to spend the time parsing it out either. I'd love ideas on this one!

Do you know of a local group that could use or take small items like our reader has on hand? Please share your tips in the comments box below. (If you don't see the comments box below, you'll need to log in or sign up for a WRAL account. You can do that by going to the top of the page and clicking on either "log in" or "register").

Help a Mom features questions from readers every Wednesday. If you have a question that you'd like to ask Go Ask Mom readers, click here to email it to me.


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  • shall6 Jan 2, 2013

    From my inbox: Lots of recommendations for Cary Creative Center, Freecycle, schools, including preschools, and The Scrap Exchange ...

    Sarah (editor)

  • TriangleMommy Jan 2, 2013

    Most children hospitals (Duke, UNC, Wakemed) have special treasure boxes for children, which they get to pick something out after a procedure. They often have small toys, beanie babies, "Happy meal" toys (still in wrapping).

  • Amomoftwo Jan 2, 2013

    I have donated things like that to North Raleigh Ministries on Strickland Road/Harvest Oaks Plaza. Their website is
    They sell the items in their thrift store to operate their food pantry and financial assistance center in the North Raleigh area.

  • lilypony Jan 2, 2013

    Many elementary school teachers love trinkets as rewards for good behavior!

  • caitlinduffy1157 Jan 2, 2013

    I donate everything and anything to durham rescue mission

  • eri815 Jan 2, 2013

    I'd forgotten about those jba1, both very good suggestions also!

  • jba1 Jan 2, 2013

    You could Freecycle them . There are freecycle groups in all of the local counties. Carrboro also has a "Really Really Free Market" each month where people bring all kinds of things to give away.
    Also, some Solid Waste centers have a "Salvage Shed" where you could drop these types of things off and someone would be happy to give them another life! :)

  • eri815 Jan 2, 2013

    The Scrap Exchange (in Durham) and the Cary Creative Center might also be interested in items like those.

  • kcastleberry Jan 2, 2013

    There are usually participating churches in our area, but I'm not sure who is doing it right now. Here is a link to the website for more information. We did it for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. I know Scotty McCreary helps with these too because he actually helped deliver them. If I find out more information I'll post it here!

  • megrnc Jan 2, 2013

    Any non profit that serves families and children will take them! Dress for Success, Urban Ministries, Salvation Army, etc.