Since Covid cancelled summer camps and ruined vacation plans, many families are forced to find other ways to spend down time. Of course, living in a coastal community affords numerous “staycation” options such as basking by the pool, swimming in the saltwater, fishing in the Intracoastal, biking trails in nature preserves, golfing one of the numerous championship courses, playing tennis at world-class complexes, or exploring the myriad of historical landmarks. However, if the heat becomes too intense, families can find ways to bond by tackling home improvement projects. One easy project in which the entire family can participate is mission closet clean-out.

Working as a team, each family member can clean out his or her own closet and dresser drawers. Individuals should have three separate piles: recycle, donate, and keep. Articles of clothing that are in tough shape, along with old socks, shoes, and undergarments, should be tossed in the recycle pile. Recycling clothes reduces waste, energy, and pollution. Designated bins are often located behind schools, and, as an added bonus, schools sometimes get a financial reward based on the pounds of clothes donated. Win-win!

From the donate pile, fold clothes and set in a clear bin or trash bag. Label the outside with approximate size of clothes and gender. Then, determine the best place to donate. For your convenience, here is a list of organizations that will gladly accept your attire. Don’t stop with just the bedroom closets; many of these organizations will also accept other household items as well.

Our Sister’s Place | 561-744-6997 | 580 N U.S. 1, Tequesta, FL

Supporting victims of domestic violence, Our Sister’s Place is a thrift store located in the County Line Shopping Plaza in Tequesta. The store accepts clothing, furniture, books, dishes, small appliances, linens, and decorative items. Hours of operation are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and Thursday from 9 - 8 p.m. Truck pick-up is also available.

Habitat for Humanity Thrift Store | 561-743-3660 | 1635 N. Old Dixie Hwy, Jupiter, FL

Habitat of Humanity builds stable homes for financially distressed families. Since 1986, the Palm Beach County affiliate has constructed more than 200 homes. Additionally, the organization provides educational classes and resources for new homeowners. The Restores accept furniture, appliances, housewares, hardware, decorative items, light fixtures, and building materials. Palm Beach County has three Restores: Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, and Greenacres. Pick-up is available.

Trustbridge Hospice Foundation | 561-624-5495 | 863 Donald Ross Rd., Juno Beach

Trustbridge Hospice Foundation, formerly Hospice of Palm Beach County, has a retail thrift store in Juno Beach, West Palm Beach, and Boca Raton. Profits from these stores financially assist with palliative care of terminally ill patients. Accepted donations include furniture, clothing, housewares, and cars. Truck pick-up is available for larger items.

Faith Farm Ministries | 561-737-2222 | 9538 Hwy 441, Boynton Beach, FL

Beginning as an overnight rescue mission in 1951, Faith Farm Ministries is a faith-based drug and alcohol recovery program that currently has more than 400 beds across its three locations in Ft. Lauderdale, Okeechobee, and Boynton Beach. Recovery services are completely free of charge and are available to anyone in need. The ministry includes food and shelter, recovery classes, and education courses. Christian counselors are on campus to help individuals break the bond of addiction. The thrift stores, which are located at each site, help with the financial needs of the organization. Accepted donations include furniture, clothing, and appliances. Trucks are available for pick-up.

Treasures of Hope | 561-691-8881 | 3540 Northlake Blvd | Palm Beach Gardens, FL

A charitable store, Treasures of Hope supports Villages of Hope, an affordable housing option for youth who have aged out of the foster care system. In addition to housing, tenants at Villages of Hope have access to career counselors, mentors, job opportunities, education, and more. In essence, young adults learn various life skills to help them be successful and reach their full potential. Treasures of Hope accepts furniture, artwork, handbags, luggage, and gently used clothes and shoes. Its affiliate, Place of Hope, a faith-based foster housing complex, accepts baby clothes and items.

Knowing that the proceeds impact local organizations, take time to shop the thrift stores, too. Other charities that accept a wide variety of household items include Goodwill Industries, the Salvation Army, and the Kidney Foundation to name a few.

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