There are many non-profit organizations in the Champaign-Urbana area that accept donations all year. My ISTC colleague Joy Scrogum compiled a list awhile back and I’ve added to it. If there are any I missed, let me know in the comments.
Note that the City of Champaign Public Works Department has a good list of alternatives on their Where Do I Recycle, Donate, or Dispose of It? page.
- May 31, 2019 to check and correct broken links. Removed Courage Connection store from list.
- Links checked August 9, 2018.
- December 6, 2016 to correct broken links.
- August 19, 2015 to include the Champaign-Urbana Theater Company’s donation policies.
Champaign-Urbana Theater Company (CUTC)
Accepts limited donations of clothing and other items for use as costumes and props. Accepts latex paint if the can is at least 1/2 full. They will also accept lumber and other set construction materials if they are whole and in good condition (no scraps). Contact the costume manager (firstname.lastname@example.org) for clothing donations and the company’s executive director (email@example.com) for all other items.
Crisis Nursery works to prevent child abuse and neglect by providing 24-hour emergency care for children and support to strengthen families in crisis. See Items can be dropped off M-F 8-5. See https://crisisnursery.net/needs-wish-list/ for their wish list. Contact: 217-337-2731
Goodwill/Land of Lincoln Goodwill Industries, Inc.
Goodwill has locations in Champaign, Savoy (where the old Pages for All Ages book store used to be in the Savoy Plaza) and the LaBelle Boutique in Urbana. Donations are accepted Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to store closing and on Sunday from noon to store closing. Donations are tax-deductible. Before you go, check their list of acceptable and unacceptable donations.
Goodwill participates in Dell’s Reconnect electronics recycling program. Acceptable computer equipment includes:
- desktop and laptop computers,
- monitors (only flatscreen monitors and TVs in working condition — NO CRTs),
- ink and toner cartridges,
- external hard drives,
- power cords,
- USB drives,
- computer software CDs.
The Recycle / Reuse Unwanted Electronics E-guide for Residents of Champaign County, Illinois has a list of other local businesses that accept unwanted electronics for reuse and recycling. Illinois banned the disposal of electronic items from landfills in 2012.
Habitat for Humanity ReStore
The main store address is 119 East University Avenue, Champaign. See http://cuhabitat.org/re-store/donate-materials/ for list of acceptable items. Donations are accepted at the store Monday – Friday 10am-6pm and Saturday 10am-4pm. To arrange a pick up for donations call (217) 355-6460. The ReStore is open Tuesday-Friday 10am-6pm and Saturday 10am-4pm. Note that there may be a fee for pick up or delivery of items. Contact: 217-359-0507 or 217-819-5118; firstname.lastname@example.org
The IDEA Store
The IDEA Store is a materials-for-the-arts and educational reuse store where you can donate a variety of items that would otherwise go to the landfill. All proceeds from store sales benefit the CU Schools Foundation. Donations are accepted during store hours, Tuesday-Friday noon-7pm & Saturdays 10 am to 5 pm. Donations are tax deductible. See http://the-idea-store.org/wp-content/uploads/Final-Acceptance-List-9-20-12.pdf for the donation list, which includes almost anything that might be used for craft projects and office/school supplies. Read more about the IDEA Store here.
Teachers, keep the IDEA Store in mind if you need supplies for class projects or extra school supplies. You can often get a lot of material for a small price. Items are often sold by the pound. In the fall, they highlight items that appear on school supply lists. See http://the-idea-store.org/retail-store/ for more information. If you’re looking for a particular type of material, you can let them know and they’ll contact you if they receive anything that fits your needs. Contact: 217-352-7878; email@example.com
Most area libraries (including the University of Illinois) accept used books, CDs & DVDs. If you don’t see your library on the list below, contact them directly to inquire about making a donation.
- Allerton Public Library District (Monticello) Donation Policy (on p. 24 of Library Policy Manual)
- Champaign Public Library Donation Policy
- Mahomet Public Library Donation Policy
- Tolono Public Library Donation Guidelines
- Urbana Free Library Donation Policy
- University of Illinois Library Donation Policy
Park District Camps and Preschools
Contact the Champaign or Urbana Park Districts to donate gently used books, educational items, school supplies, or craft supplies.
- Champaign Park District Preschool/Day Camp, Springer Cultural Center: Melanie Kahler, 217-819-3919; firstname.lastname@example.org. See https://champaignparks.com/programs/day-camps/ for specific contacts for day camps at other Champaign Park District locations.
- Anita Purves Nature Center: 217-384-4062; Nadine Schmitz is the educational services contact, email@example.com. See http://www.urbanaparks.org/programs/summer-camps/ for specific contact info for the various Urbana Park District camps.
Preservation and Conservation Association (PACA)
PACA accepts architectural pieces (doors, windows, fixtures, etc.), furniture, storage items like filing cabinets, and even small home décor items. Contact them if you have items you think they might be interested in to determine if they will accept the item and/or have space for it. The warehouse is at 44 E Washington St, Champaign, IL. Their warehouse hours are Tuesday 10-4, Wed. 10-7, Th & F 10-4 & Sat. 9-12. Contact: 217-359-7222; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Three Spinners accepts donations of clothes, school supplies, and household items. They use furniture and household items to help furnish the homes of newly arrived refugee families in Champaign-Urbana. They also work with Refugee and Immigrant Services in Indianapolis by providing clothing and children’s items and RefugeeOne in Chicago by providing school supplies and rent-assistance. Donations that cannot be used are donated to other charities in the C-U community.
Salt & Light Ministries
Salt & Light accepts clothing, furniture (subject to approval), appliances, household items, shoes, children’s toys, linens (sheets, blankets, towels), books, electronics, DVDs, CDs, and jewelry. Donations are accepted at any time of day in their donation bins. You can also drop off Monday through Saturday, 9am-8pm.
University YMCA Dump and Run
Each year as students leave campus in droves, lots of useful materials end up headed to the landfill. The University YMCA Dump & Run collects some of this material and then sells it a large community garage sale in the fall—just in time for students to move back into the campus area and need items for their dorm rooms or apartments.
They accept: furniture, dishes, glassware, pots & pans, small household appliances, computers, electronics, bicycles, office & school supplies, nearly-new clothing, books, toiletries, lawn & garden, artwork, vinyl & cds, musical instruments, sporting equipment & other household goods. They DO NOT collect televisions, paint, child/infant car seats, stoves, washers, dryers, non-working electronics & computer parts, sleeper sofas, mattresses, televisions, or large exercise equipment. Contact: Emily Cross, 217-337-1500: email@example.com.