Spring is here, and summer fast approaching. The end of the university school year will be upon us faster than you can say commencement. And for thousands of OSU students, summer is move-out season. We can all agree that moving sucks. There’s never enough time and the last thing anybody wants to do is strap a crappy old couch to the top of their parents’ Prius, but leaving it on the corner is just plain wrong. It’s also technically illegal. So here’s a quick guide of where to take the stuff that you can’t keep when you move.
Vina Moses Center: Your donations of clothes, kitchen appliances, household electronics, and camping equipment are made available to Benton County families in need. VM also runs the FISH program to help homeless families or those in danger of becoming homeless. Items that cannot be used locally are trucked off to the giant St. Vinnie’s thrift store in Lane County. www.vinamoses.org
Heartland Humane Society Thrift Shop: These animal-loving volunteers accept clothing, books, collectibles, toys, accessories, and animal-related items. Profits from the thrift store are critical to the financial stability of the humane society in south town. Any clothing they cannot use goes to Vina Moses. www.heartlandhumane.org
ARC of Benton County: In addition to clothing, books, collectibles, hand tools, and working electronics, ARC accepts bicycles and some furniture. Profits from the two local ARC thrift stores benefit individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Anything they can’t sell is passed along to Vina Moses.
St. Vincent de Paul: This non-profit organization has the mission of assisting the poor with affordable housing and emergency services. Their closest donation station and retail store are just down Highway 20 in Albany. They accept a large variety of items, including furniture. You can also drop off unusable clothes and other fabrics for recycling. Anything the Albany store cannot use is shipped off to Lane County. The Eugene St. Vinnie’s sorts donations into items that can be reused, remanufactured, recycled, or thrown away, keeping about 93-95% of donations out of the waste stream. www.svdp.us
Consignment Shops: Your cute little black dress might be worth some cash. Corvallis currently has several shops downtown happy to take lightly used clothes off your hands. A number of these shops donate what they cannot sell to… you guessed it… Vina Moses.
Goodwill: The big store on 9th Street has a drive-through donation station which makes it quick and easy to lighten your load of unneeded possessions. Books, clothes, furniture, exercise equipment, and housewares are just a few of the items accepted.
Goodwill says it provides training, employment, and supportive services for people with disabilities or disadvantages who seek greater independence, but investigations have revealed they pay their help a fraction of minimum wage. That said, it’s still better than dumping stuff. www.goodwill.org
OSU Folk Club Thrift Shop: This volunteer-run store is also a consignment shop. You can make a buck or two on your stuff, or just donate it outright. Either way, profits go to OSU students receiving scholarships and Benton County agencies through grants. Anything that the shop cannot sell is picked up by Gaia Movement trucks from Portland. www.oregonstate.edu
Gaia Movement Bins: We mention these bins as an absolute last option for your used clothes. While they are a convenient alternative to a trip to Vina Moses, we don’t encourage anyone to utilize them. As we reported in November, Gaia Movement is widely regarded as part of an international money-making scam with phony environmental projects. To be fair, some of the clothing donated to the bins won’t end up in dumpsters. www.gaia-movement-usa.org, www.corvallisadvocate.com/
Benton Habitat for Humanity Restore: Restore accepts used and new household items, but not clothing or beds. Habitat for Humanity International operates around the globe and has helped build, renovate, and repair more than 600,000 decent, affordable houses sheltering more than three million people worldwide.
Furniture Share: This non-profit organization was founded specifically to find a way for families in need to utilize discarded student furniture. Furniture Share accepts basic household items and kitchenware in addition to furniture. They do ask that items are in good condition, as their space and resources are limited. For $20, they will even come to you.
Corvallis Furniture: This furniture store was also born from a desire to stop the trend of students chucking their old furniture. The staff accepts some household items and used furniture in good or easily repairable condition. They will also take latex paints, wood stains, sand paper, and even parts and pieces of wood furniture. Their big orange truck is frequently seen around town picking up donations.
By Preston Johnson