11 Alternative Places to Donate Items in Rochester MN


This post was last updated on June 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:

  1. Please donate only new, like-new, or gently-used clothing. If it is dirty, soiled, worn, or has holes please throw it away.*
  2. Donate only working electronics and appliances. Throw away anything that is broken or non-functioning.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

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.


Women’s Shelter and Support Center

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.


The Landing MN

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.


Rochester Community Warming Center

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.

Mayo High School SOS Closet

John Marshall High School

Century High School

Pine Island High School

Many Rochester public elementary schools also have community closets.  For contact information please check each school’s website.


Olmsted County Foster Care Closet

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 Olmsted County Foster Care Closet is not currently taking donations.  Please check back for future availability.


Rochester MN Workforce Center

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

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.


Salvation Army

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.


Dorothy Day Hospitality House

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

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.


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Becky is the owner and founder of Rochester Mom. Born and raised in Rochester, she considers herself a Minnesota girl through and through. A Harry Potter lover with a bad case of wanderlust, she’s always looking for the next big adventure. This has served her well while looking for new and exciting resources in the Rochester area. Wife to AJ and mama to Evie and Theo, as a family they enjoy all that Rochester has to offer. When not pursuing a crazy idea, you can find Becky baking an elaborate cake, canning her garden produce, or pretending to be a photographer with her iPhone. For more snapshots of Becky's life, follow her on Instagram.


  1. Great article on other places to donate in Rochester. Another hidden secret too many Rochesterites is the Habitat for Humanity ReStore Store. This donation site welcomes modern to vintage decor, furniture, appliances, building materials, books, and toys! It is an ideal location to donate any remodeling materials, also! Prices are very affordable and all profits help build a home for a Rochester family. One can shop, donate, and/or volunteer at ReStore!

  2. Dorothy Day was not taking clothes and referred guests to Salvation Army. MN Adult and Teen Challenge is another great option for men’s and women’s clothing and also games.

  3. Why did Salvation Army close? And will it reopen? I really feel that we need the Salvation Army. They not only fulfilled a need here, but they sent things to other places.

  4. Thanks for including Pine Island High School in your locations for donations. Our room is quite small, so minimal clothing is accepted as we don’t have room to store it. However, sweatpants, black leggings, hoodies and other gently used athletic apparel are the most common articles taken by our high school students. Thanks in advance!

  5. A great place to also earn cash back for items – or donations are gladly accepted – is The Children’s Exchange of Rochester! A great family owned business that has been serving Rochester since 1986.

  6. Rather than throwing clothes away, they can be recycled. There are several USAgain green bins around the city. If the clothes are usable, they will be used, if they are too old and tattered, they will be recycled. Large volumes of thrown out shoes, clothes, etc. filler landfills. Please don’t throw away old clothes.

  7. Thank you so much for this list. I have used it a few times in the past month. I have also forwarded it to so many people in Rochester who are looking for somewhere to donate things but don’t know where to make that donation. Thank you thank you thank you!

  8. Another place to donate, I have recently learned about, is called Home Again. They can even come to you and pick up your gently used items. You can see a list of their donation needs and check out their website homeagainmn.org.

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