This post was last updated on January 3, 2021
You may currently find yourself going through all of your items with the plan to donate your used household goods and clothing. With the popularity of shows such as Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and Get Organized with The Home Edit, many of us have found ourselves standing in front of closets wondering what is going to spark joy or how we can put things in pretty bins.
Did you know that there are several places in Rochester that are eager to accept your donated items? Many of these organizations provide critical programs and services for the city of Rochester and surrounding areas. While Goodwill and Savers serve their helpful place in our community, perhaps you might consider another one of these organizations as you’re preparing to donate your items.
Before we get started on our list. I’d like to gently remind you of some donation etiquette:
- Please donate only new, like-new, or gently-used clothing. If it is dirty, soiled, worn, or has holes please throw it away.*
- Donate only working electronics and appliances. Throw away anything that is broken or non-functioning.
- Please ensure that an organization is able to accept whatever it is you’d like to donate. Please call to coordinate if you are donating a large or unusual item.
- Please wash and fold your items and organize to the best of your ability prior to donating.
*some organizations may take dirty, worn clothing and textiles. Salvation Army is an example. Call to confirm before dropping off your donations.
11 Alternative Places to Donate Items in Rochester MN
Family Promise Rochester provides shelter, meals and comprehensive assistance to homeless families in the Rochester, Minnesota area. Their mission is to help homeless and low-income families achieve sustainable independence through a community-based response. Family Promise Rochester has limited storage space so please refer to their needed donations page before calling to coordinate a drop-off.
The Rochester MN Women’s Shelter and Support Center provides outreach, advocacy, and housing to abused women, individuals, and families. While not always accepting donations, you can check their website for up-to-date information about what items are currently needed. Please call to coordinate your donation.
They Landing aims to provide support, guidance, and a shoulder to lean on to those facing homelessness within our community. They help to navigate available resources; from housing and clothing, to meals and medical care, The Landing MN, Inc. works to help these individuals make positive steps forward. Items are always needed. Please check their needs page to find out more and to coordinate a donation.
The Rochester Community Warming Center (RCWC) provides emergency shelter for Rochester area homeless adults, 18 and older, during the winter months. Each individual served at the RCWC has a safe and warm place to sleep, access to a shower, laundry facilities, healthy snacks and beverages, fellowship, and referrals for additional help and assistance. The needs list is always changing, so please reference their page for more information on how to give.
Rochester MN Area Schools
The Rochester Alternative Learning Center (a Rochester public high school) has a clothing shelf for students that are struggling or are in shelter transition. This high school provides educational opportunities for students in special circumstances. Night School and a Recovery Program are just a handful of the programs they offer. They take any size clothing and are especially in need of socks. Please call ahead to coordinate your donation.
Other schools that take clothing donations are listed below. Call the main office at each school to coordinate your drop-offs.
Many Rochester public elementary schools also have community closets. For contact information please check each school’s website.
Olmsted County Foster Care Closet is a public Facebook group run by two local Rochester, MN residents. Requests are channeled through the Facebook group to help fill immediate needs. Children’s clothing, furniture, supplies, toys and more are always accepted and always need by foster care families in Rochester MN. Join the Facebook group and contact the admin to coordinate a drop-off.
The Workforce Center serves thousands of people through career planning and pre-vocational skill training. One area of focus is working with populations dealing with multiple barriers to achieving meaningful employment. The Workforce Center accepts donations of professional clothing to help applicants look and feel their best when going to job interviews. Please call ahead to coordinate your donation.
Thrift on 5th sells children and adult clothing for under $1 per item. There is no limit to how you can buy and the store includes a “free” section, for those in need who are unable to pay. All profits from the store go towards scholarships at Thrive Childcare & Family Resource Center. Gently used clothing donations (in-season preferred) are accepted at the store.
While the two Salvation Army family stores have closed in Rochester, MN. From time to time, they will post about needs they have for individuals facing homelessness or crisis in Rochester. Follow their facebook page for more information and to receive notices of items needed.
The Dorothy Day Hospitality House is a temporary homeless shelter conveniently located in downtown Rochester, MN within walking distance to Mayo Clinic, buses, and community resources. Dorothy Day is always in need of adult clothing – especially winter clothes and other gear. In addition to these items, they also accept household supplies and baked good. Please check their page for more information and to coordinate a drop-off.
Habitat for Humanity ReStore welcomes modern to vintage decor, furniture, appliances, building materials, books, and toys. It is also an ideal location to donate any remodeling materials (including paint). Prices are affordable and all profits help build a home for a Rochester, MN are family.