Spring Cleaning and Responsible Reuse

Mar 22, 2017 Posted by: admin Comments

As winter ends many of us get down to the ritual of spring cleaning. It feels great to fling

open those closets, cupboards, and garage doors, take stock of what is no longer useful

and clear it away. You can feel even better when you thoughtfully allocate your castoffs

to organizations who can use them directly, because your unwanted goods will have

longer lives in responsible hands.

We are lucky to have robust charitable communities and a vibrant social services sector

in the Twin Cities and throughout Minnesota. The organizations that operate in service

to our state’s communities give us limitless ways to responsibly divest of unwanted

items, making it possible for each of us to be active collaborators in the reuse


Here are 10 stellar nonprofit organizations doing good work that have created ‘Wish

Lists’ to take the guesswork out of what they need and what they can put to immediate


Bridging (http://www.bridging.org )

Bridging was founded on the idea that together we can create a bridge between those

in need and those with excess. Since 1987, and nearly 50,000 square feet later, Bridging

is the largest furniture bank in North America and has served over 80,000 households.

Bridging continues to accept quality, gently used items, and by doing so, diverts 200,000

pounds of inventory from the landfill each week.

Wish List: http://www.bridging.org/index.php/get-involved/don...

Bundles of Love (http://www.bundlesoflove.org )

Bundles of Love is a volunteer driven organization that partners with community service

agencies to assist Minnesota families in need by providing handmade baby clothing,

bedding, and basic care items for newborns. In 2016, the organization served an

estimated 5,657 families.

Wish List: http://www.bundlesoflove.org/help

Citizens Supporting Our Armed Forces (https://www.csoaf.com )

Citizens Supporting Our Armed Forces mission is two-fold: 1) Increase community

support and awareness of our troops and their on-going military deployments, and 2)

Direct troop support through the shipment of care packages to those deployed. The

goal is to send needed items to our troops as often as possible and to as many as


Wish List: https://www.csoaf.com/donations.html

Crisis Nursery (http://www.crisisnursery.org )

Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery remains the only residential crisis nursery in

Minnesota, and one of only 20 in the country. Crisis Nursery started, 32 years ago with a

goal to establish a crisis helpline 24-hours a day, seven days a week; and to shelter six

children per day. Today, the organization answers over 4,000 crisis calls and shelters

over 2,200 children a year.

Wish List: http://www.crisisnursery.org/sites/crisisnursery.org/files/3-2017wishlist.pdf

Keys 4/4 Kids (http://www.keys44kids.org )

Keys 4/4 Kids accepts donations of used and unwanted pianos and its professional piano

technicians rejuvenate them for resale. Proceeds from these sales programs that

provide opportunities for artistic expression in our youth, encourage community

partnerships, and make the arts available to all people, regardless of income, age, or

previous arts experience.

Wish Lists: Donate Pianos: http://www.keys44kids.org/donate-a-piano/

Piano Parts Upcycled: http://www.keys44kids.org/shop/?category=Upcycled

Leonardo’s Basement (https://leonardosbasement.org )

Leonardo’s Basement is a one-of- a-kind creative learning environment for “kids” of all

ages to design and build from their imagination. Kids choose and direct their own

projects, create, and build solutions to problems and go on field trips. Over 11,000

students have been served by the organization since 1998.

Wish List: https://leonardosbasement.org/donate/physical-reso...

Minnesota Homeless Coalition (http://www.mnhomelesscoalition.org )

Since 1984 the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless has worked to ensure that

everyone has a place to call home through advocacy, technical assistance, and building

public awareness. Together with partners, the Coalition has advocated for state funds to

build over 9,000 units of affordable housing.

Wish List: http://www.mnhomelesscoalition.org/give-now/

Open Arms of Minnesota (http://www.openarmsmn.org )

Open Arms of Minnesota cooks and delivers free, nutritious meals to people living with

life-threatening illnesses in the Twin Cities. With the help of over 5,400 volunteers, the

organization will cook and deliver more than 600,000 delicious meals this year to people

living with cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), as well as

to their caregivers and dependents.

Wish List: http://www.openarmsmn.org/donate/donatesupplies/

Operation Glass Slipper (http://operationglassslipper.org )

Operation Glass Slipper was founded in 2006 and is dedicated to providing prom gowns

and accessories - at no charge - to high school girls throughout Minnesota and western

Wisconsin. The organization serves young women who would otherwise be unable to

attend prom due to difficult financial or family circumstances. Each year over 1,000 girls

are outfitted for prom.

Wish List: http://operationglassslipper.org/?page_id=21

People Incorporated (http://www.peopleincorporated.org )

People Incorporated serves people with mental illness in the Minneapolis and Saint Paul

metro area. Founded in 1969, they operate more than 60 programs including children’s

programs, crisis residences, programming to help the homeless, residential programs,

treatment services, case management, and in-home health services. In 2015, the

organization served more than 10,000 people.

Wish List:

http://www.peopleincorporated.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/2015-Program-Wish- List1.pdf

About this month’s blogger:

Beth DeZiel is newly elected to the Board of ReUSE Minnesota and owner of Lasso LLC.

(http://lassollc.com/ ) Seven years ago, she launched a professional organizing business

to help individuals downsize and simplify while being kind to the planet. In a profession

heavily populated with people who counsel their clients to throw things away (or to buy

more plastic bins) in the name of organization, Beth has made it her mission to help her

clients responsibly redistribute their unwanted belongings – going to great lengths to

identify and connect with organizations that will be able to keep these castaways in use.

To that end, she’s set herself apart from the mainstream in a way that resonates with

her increasingly eco-conscious clientele.