Where to Donate: A Handy Guide

Bernie's Book Bank

Updated Jan. 21, 2021

Ready to get organized and rid your home of the clutter? Whether you’re cleaning out your closet or bookshelf or updating your furniture, don’t just toss those items — donate them and make a difference to one of the many local organizations in need. Here’s our guide to where to donate throughout the North Shore and Chicago.


Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

Consider giving toys to patients at Lurie Children’s. Due to health concerns and the Covid-19 pandemic, Lurie can only accept toys through their Amazon Wish Lists and cannot support in person drop-offs at this time.

Beacon Place

Beacon Place is a community center in southeast Waukegan with programs for kids and adults that allow them to see a path toward their own brighter tomorrow by building the life skills they need, to achieve the dreams that they want. 603 S. McAlister Ave., Waukegan

Fill a Heart 4 Kids

Fill a Heart 4 Kids’ mission is to help vulnerable homeless youth and foster children living in institutions to feel loved and remembered through various programs and at-home service projects such as their 4 Kids Care Packages and 4 Kids Survival BacPacs. 400 E. Illinois Road, Lake Forest


Catholic Charities

Catholic Charities assists people in need of food, rental assistance, counseling and more. Its food pantries are currently experiencing shortages. The organization accepts donations and you can drop off food at any location. Various drop-off locations

Hillside Food Pantry

You may donate shelf-stable, canned, and/or packaged food items to this Evanston food pantry. Check out their website for a current list of items the food pantry seeks. 2727 Crawford Ave., Evanston

Midwest Veterans Closet

It’s Veteran’s Day everyday at Midwest Veterans Closet, a not-for-profit charity located in North Chicago that betters the lives of veterans by providing free clothing, household items, furniture, food, housing as available, and employment assistance. 2323 Green Bay Road, North Chicago

Northern Illinois Food Bank

Northern Illinois Food Bank is the source of nutritious food, innovative feeding programs, and hope for more than 71,000 people each week. As a nonprofit organization with a goal of solving hunger in their 13-county service area, they rely on community partners such as local food pantries and feeding programs, food manufacturers and retailers, companies, foundations, and individuals to join them so no one is hungry in northern Illinois. Visit their website for tips and tools for hosting a food drive in your area. 273 Dearborn Court, Geneva

Clothing & Accessories

Evanston School Children’s Clothing Association

Cleaning out the kids’ closets? ESCCA provides school clothing and shoes to Evanston/Skokie District 65 K-8th grade school children. They accept new or gently used, clean children’s clothing and coats. Donations are accepted all year. 1500 McDaniel Ave., Evanston

New to You Resale Shop of Glenview Community Church

Donate clothes and household merchandise (furniture is not accepted) during The Resale Shop’s open hours: Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Resale Shop is closed during the summer, Thanksgiving week, Christmas week, New Year’s week, and Holy week. 1000 Elm St., Glenview

North Shore Exchange

Best of 2017 winner North Shore Exchange, which is made possible by the Woman’s Library Club of Glencoe, supports charities that provide human services and education to low-income families in the Midwest. Appointments are required for donations. Visit their website to view an accepted list of designers. Various locations


WINGS supports those impacted by domestic violence by providing housing, counseling and goods such as hygiene products, health products, food and more. They accept clothing, accessories and household items at their three resale shops and all of the proceeds go toward supporting their clients. They also accept items purchased through their Amazon Wish List. For more information on how to donate, visit their websiteVarious locations


Cell Phones for Soldiers

Donate your used cell phone or tablet to Cell Phones for Soldiers, a nonprofit supported by AT&T that provides troops and veterans with communication services. Gently used items from all wireless carriers and brands are accepted. Device donation and shipping costs are tax-deductible. Print a shipping label from the organization’s website.

Recycling for Charities

Donate used cell phones, iPods, digital cameras and PDAs by printing the shipping label from the website and sending donations to RFC. RFC makes a donation to the charity of your choice for each item you part with.

Secure the Call

Secure the Call collects cell phones, turns them into 911 emergency access phones and donates them to senior citizen centers, domestic violence shelters and police and sheriff departments. Visit the website to print a shipping label.


Donate at your local public library! Call ahead to see if there are any books they don’t accept (like textbooks).

Bernie’s Book Bank

Bernie’s Book Bank collects new and gently used children’s books to distribute to at-risk homes throughout the Chicagoland area. Each child the organization serves receives at least 12 books a year. There are drop-off locations throughout the North Shore. Be sure to contact your desired location to see if they’re accepting drop-offs at this time. Various drop-off locations


Donate gently used books to Books4Cause, an organization that, through used book donations, has created 20 libraries in Africa, and keeps books out of landfills. All K-12 books given to the organization are donated, and 13 percent of other book donations are sold while the rest are given away or recycled. Drop them off at their Skokie location or their Chicago location. 3415 Madison St., Skokie & 2931 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago

Chicago BWP

This volunteer organization distributes paperback books to women’s prisons nationwide to encourage education and self-empowerment. Visit the website for specific books BWP is looking for. You can either shop their wish list at Women & Children First to purchase books for the organization to pick up or you can make an appointment to drop books off at the Chicago location. 4511 N. Hermitage Ave., Chicago

Cradles to Crayons

Providing low-income and homeless children with clothes, books, school supplies and more, Cradles to Crayons helps serve nearly 200,000 children living in poverty in Chicago. Visit their website for a list of drop-off locations throughout the North Shore. Various drop-off locations

Open Books

Open Books collects used books to sell in their Pilsen and West Loop stores and online. The money collected helps fund book granting programs for thousands of students around Chicago each year. The organization accepts “any sellable book in good condition,” as well as LPs, CDs and DVDs. There are various drop-off locations in Chicago, including one in Northbrook. To inquire about a free pickup, fill out the form on the Open Books website. Various drop-off locations


Salvation Army and Goodwill

Both provide pickup service and provide you with a tax receipt. Visit each organization’s website or call to schedule a pickup time. Various locations

Brown Elephant Resale Shops

Brown Elephant supports Howard Brown Health using money earned from the resale of donated items. Contactless drop-off is available at the Andersonville and Lakeview locations at this time. Bring in any upholstered furniture, tables, dressers, bookcases, etc. Visit their website for a full list of accepted items. 4025 N. Sheridan Road, Chicago

Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse

Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse sells reclaimed building materials at low cost to the community and the proceeds support their education and job-training programs. To donate your building materials, furniture or appliances, email a photo and description of the items to [email protected] with your address and phone number for approval. 1245 Hartrey Ave., Evanston

Habitat for Humanity ReStore

All proceeds from the ReStore go to Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization that works to provide families with affordable, safe housing and has built 90 homes in Chicago neighborhoods. Visit their website for a list of acceptable items. To donate, drop off your items at the ReStore or request a free pickup using the form on the website. 6040 N. Pulaski Road, Chicago

Village Treasure House

All proceeds from this Northbrook nonprofit support 17 local agencies serving women and families in crisis. Small furniture items and larger items must be previewed before donating. Visit their website for merchandise guidelines. 1460 Paddock Drive, Northbrook

World Relief Chicago

World Relief Chicago provides cleaning supplies, linens, toiletries, kitchen items, furniture and more to immigrants and refugees who have fled their countries due to war and displacement. Package items in waterproof packaging and then drop them off in the donation box in the rear of the World Relief office. The organization is accepting limited furniture items by appointment only. Visit their website for a list of accepted items. 191 S. Gary Ave., Carol Stream

If you’d like to make a charitable donation on someone’s behalf but would like your recipient to be able to choose the charity, charitygiftcertificates.org is the source for you. With more than 1,000 charities to choose from, this is truly a gift that will keep on giving.

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