Do

• Become familiar with an organization’s mission before donating. Many have instructions online about what is and is not accepted.

• Make sure clothing and accessories are clean before donating.

• Inspect furniture for stains and tears, and check that household items are in good working condition.

• Call in advance or look online for drop-off locations and times.

• Before placing items in a stand-alone drop box, make sure the items will be delivered to a nonprofit organization,

if that is your intent.

• Inquire about obtaining a receipt for tax purposes if needed.

• Know that your donation is greatly appreciated.

Don’t

• Leave donations outside where they will be exposed to the elements.

• Donate clothing that is soiled, torn or tattered.

• Drop-off furniture that is torn or stained. Many nonprofits with limited budgets do not have the resources to re-upholster furniture.

What’s needed

Here are some specific items needed by local organizations.

Dress for Success

• Pants and skirt suits in good condition in all sizes that can be worn for job interviews.

• Coordinating blouses and shells to be worn under suits.

• Separates that can be mixed and matched to create a working wardrobe.

• Work-appropriate accessories like earrings, necklaces, shoes, handbags and briefcases.

• Unworn hosiery.

• Unopened cosmetics.

• New, unused undergarments.

Note: Items should be cleaned and on hangers.

More details can be found at http://www.dressforsuccess.org/batonrouge by clicking on the “donations” tab.

St. Vincent de Paul thrift stores

Accepts: clothing, household items, furniture, appliances, mattresses, bedding andlinens.

For more details, call (225) 267- 5447.

St. Vincent de Paul Dining Room

Urgent food items needed: meats (beef, poultry, pork, seafood), rice, sugar, dry beans and spaghetti, as well as the following canned goods: black-eyed peas, green beans, chicken broth, green peas, corn, tomato paste and tomato sauce.

Also accepted: salt and pepper packets, nutmeg, vanilla flavor/extract, butter, brown sugar, corn meal, garlic powder, Tony Chachere’s seasoning, oregano, dehydrated onions, Kitchen Bouquet, hot sauce, parsley flakes, hinged fold-over compartment plates, paper towels, kitchen towels, paper napkins, plastic forks, 12-oz. cups, bleach, Windex and dishwashing liquid.

Call (225) 383-7837, ext. 525, for more information.

St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Stores

Accepts: clothing, household items, furniture, appliances, mattresses, bedding and linens.

For more details, call (225) 267- 5447.

Bishop Ott Shelter Program and Myriam’s House:

Needs: sheets (twin and crib size), blankets, umbrellas and rain gear, pillowcases, pillows, disposable diapers, baby wipes, towels, washcloths, underwear for men, women and children, baby lotion, baby shampoo, baby powder, napkins, disposable cups, plates and bowls, plastic forks, spoons, knives, paper towels, sandwich bags, laundry detergent, slippers, socks, bleach, toilet paper, drink mix (tea, lemonade, etc.), deodorant, disposable razors, toothpaste, toothbrushes, foot powder, feminine hygiene products, soap and shampoo, body lotion and body powder.

Call (225) 383-7343 for more information.

St. Vincent de Paul Community Pharmacy:

Accepts: Advil, Motrin (200 mg), Aleve, Claritin, multi-vitamins, vitamin C, Robitussin, Robitussin-PM, sugar-free cough syrups and drops, cold medicine for high blood pressure, Benadryl, rubbing alcohol, Neosporin, Ensure, Ducatrol, Maalox, Mylanta, Tums, low-dose aspirin, Rolaids, Gas-X, Emetrol, Tylenol Extra Strength, Pepcid A-C and Zantac. Generic versions of these items are also accepted.

Call the pharmacy at (225) 383-7450.

Goodwill of Southeastern Louisiana:

For what the organization accepts, visit http://donate.goodwill.org.

Sources: Dress for Success, Society of St. Vincent de Paul, The Salvation Army of Greater Baton Rouge and Goodwill of Southeastern Louisiana