I love spring cleaning. Really, I love any excuse to clean and organize, but I get so busy with work that it is easy for me to fall behind. That makes this annual cleaning ritual a great time to catch up on things like vacuuming refrigerator coils and purging belongings I no longer need. This usually results in a few boxes of things to get rid of, which is not really enough for a garage sale but is a bit too much to set at the curb for folks to go through without upsetting your neighbors. This provides a perfect opportunity to combine spring cleaning and supporting local organizations.
The most direct way to turn your spring cleaning into support for local charities is to donate items directly to organizations that need them. For example, the Ojai Raptor Center (OjaiRaptorCenter.com) maintains wish lists on its website that include some common household items, like newspaper, masking tape, scrub brushes, shade cloth, and various medical supplies.
The Humane Society of Ventura County (HSVC.org) also maintains lists of items they need, including towels, blankets, office supplies, cleaning supplies, puppy pads, litter boxes with covers, flashlights, rubber toys, and unopened bags of dry food.
Organizations that accept donations of items they need to assist with delivering their services will only want specific items they can use. However, if you have a variety of items that are not on these wish lists, you can still donate the stuff you no longer need to help local causes. For example, you can donate household goods and clothing to the Goodwill in Oak View or you can donate them to the 2nd HELPings thrift store donation center in Ojai (370 Baldwin Road) so that the items can be sold to support the services offered by HELP of Ojai.
HELP of Ojai is also set up to receive donations through selling for charity on eBay. If you would like to support this organization (or another of your choice), simply go to eBay, use the charity search function to choose a charity to receive a portion of your earnings, sell and ship the items, and then receive a donation receipt for your tax files.
If that sounds like a bit too much work, you might consider consigning your items at The Lennon Closet to support the Brain Rehabilitation and Injury Network (B.R.A.I.N.) traumatic brain injury charity instead. Described as a “fine family consignment store” and located at 250 B East Ojai Avenue, The Lennon Closet accepts consignments on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 10:00am on Fridays and donates 1% of all sales to this cause.
You can also head to Ventura for other thrift shops that accept donations, such as SPARC Second Chance Store, Cats Cradle Thrift Store & Adoption Center, the Battered Women’s Thrift Store, Boys and Girls Club of Ventura Thrift Store & Vintage, ARC Thrift Store, or the Assistance League of Ventura County Thrift Store.
If you have a favorite charity you would like to support that is not included above, you can also gather your castoffs, have a garage sale, and donate the proceeds to them. There are so many great organizations and causes to support in Ojai. If you are not sure where to donate your garage sale cash, here are just a few you might look into to see if they align with your values: Ojai Valley Land Conservancy, OjaiCARES, Ojai Music Festival, Secure Beginnings, Turtle Conservancy, The Ojai Foundation, National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, All for Love Animal Rescue, Greyfoot Cat Rescue & Sanctuary, and California Coastal Horse Rescue.
AimeeJo Davis-Varela is a freelance writer specializing in real estate, sustainable home improvement, eco-friendly landscaping, green living and travel writing. She is also the owner of Mind Your Manors, which provides second home management services.
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