It can be hard to get your old stuff — whether it be clothes, books or otherwise — to a donation center. It takes time and cataloging and in our busy lives, things like donating can fall through the cracks. That’s why Amazon and other retailers as well as partners like Goodwill and Salvation Army have joined a charity called Give Back Box. It’s a win-win!
So how does it work? When you order something online from Amazon, the Give Back Box program lets you fill that empty Amazon box (and others, if need be) with donations for one of their partner charities. These can be anything from housewares to old clothes, as long as they’re in good condition.
Once you’ve filled up the box, print a shipping label from the Give Back Box website. You can choose what sort of charity you want to give to, such as organizations that support women, children, animals or people experiencing homelessness. While you can print a free label, Give Back Box is asking for help with shipping to get more boxes out during the COVID-19 pandemic. To ship a box to most charities, they’re asking for a $15 donation.
Then you can drop off the whole package at a UPS or USPS location, or even arrange a pickup from your house! How easy is that?
The other thing that’s brilliant about this is that your box gets reused, then recycled. Plus, you get a tax credit for donating, and someone less fortunate gets what they need.
Give Back Box was founded in 2012 by Monika Wiela, who owned an online shoe store. Inspired by a homeless man who had a sign asking for shoes, Wiela got him a pair only to find that he had disappeared by the time she returned. Between this experience and the fact that an estimated 11 million tons of textiles end up in landfills every year, Wiela was spurred to start Give Back Box.
The program has since partnered with major retailers such as eBags, Overstock, REI, Levi’s, Ann Taylor and many more. It’s free for the retailer who joins as a partner and free for donors as well. The shipping costs get covered by a charity (which is why they’re asking for that donation for shipping this year) who then stocks its shelves with the donated items. Finally, every box gets recycled.
So the next time you order something online, take a look around your house. Chances are you can find an item (or five) to give back to someone in need.