What can I donate?
Family Pathways Thrift Stores accepts donations of gently-used clothing and hard goods. For a full list of items that we accept, as well as items we cannot accept, please see Donations Page.
We also accept cash donations at each of our Thrift Stores. Additionally, funds can be donated online.
Where and when can I donate?
We accept donations at each of our 10 locations. For a list of locations and donation hours, please visit our Store Locator.
What do you mean by “gently-used” clothing and household goods?
Donated items must be in salable condition. For clothing, that means no stains, rips or tears. Clothing with missing buttons or broken zippers is also considered non-salable. Damp or moldy items and items with strong odors (i.e. smoke or animal urine) cannot be accepted. Household goods must be in working condition, free from scratches, stains, dents, etc. Furniture with rips, scratches or stains or furniture that is worn, has broken springs or supports, etc. may not be accepted. Staff and volunteers have the right to inspect items for salability and to not accept any donated item due to condition, saleability or other reasons. Please do not be offended if your donation is not accepted. In order to keep costs down, we can only accept items we know we can sell.
Are there certain times of the year that I can donate holiday decorations and seasonal items?
As a convenience for our customers, we accept holiday donations and seasonal items throughout the year, storing the holiday and seasonal products until it is the appropriate time of year to add them to the sales floor. This means we’ll take your Christmas decor in July and flip flops in December.
How should I pack my donations?
All items should be packed in boxes, totes or bags that can be kept by Family Pathways Thrift Stores. We are not able to return boxes or totes, and we are not able to accept loose donations. Bagging clothing separately from hard goods is very helpful for our staff and volunteers. Hard goods should be boxed with a lid and light enough so that one person can reasonably carry it.
What if I have a large number of donations to drop off?
In order to ensure we have the staff, volunteers and space to accommodate large quantity donations, (i.e. large truckloads, trailer loads, U-hauls, etc.) we do ask that you call the store location ahead of time to schedule a drop-off day and time. Large donations may be refused if proper notice is not given. Contact information for the Thrift Stores can be found at www.familypathways.org/thrift-stores/find-store/
Do you pick up donations?
We are unable to pick up donations from donors. We do have 10 convenient locations to drop off your gifts seven days a week in most locations. Please see our store listing for donation center hours at www.familypathways.org/thrift-stores/find-store/
Do I need to call ahead before dropping off my donation?
Donations are accepted during Donation Center hours, per our updated COVID-19 guidelines. Appointments are necessary for large quantity of donations or furniture items at this time. Until July 7, all donations to Forest Lake Donation Center are by appointment only.
What do you mean by “excessively large and heavy items”?
We are not able to accept items where it would take more than 2 people to reasonably move or items that will not fit through our donation doors without taking apart. Large metal desks are an item that we commonly have to turn away due to the weight of the item.
How is my donation used?
Family Pathways Thrift Stores transform donations into revenue that is used as financial support for our essential services. Family Pathways works alongside people to enhance lives through a continuum of essential services and — together with the community — champions positive social change through equitable access to:
- Healthy Food
- Community Connectedness
- Economic Security
Is my donation tax-deductible?
Tax benefits for charitable contributions are available to taxpayers who itemize deductions. A receipt is provided at the time of donation; please retain your receipt. Family Pathways is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
Why did you put my donation in a trailer?
During certain times of the year, we often receive more donations per day than we can bring into the building. Because of limited storage space inside the store, we may need to load donations into trailers for storage during high-volume donation days. The donations we load into trailers are our lifeline during low-volume donation times. They get us through months when donations decline drastically, particularly during the winter. So if you are asking yourself, “Do they really need my donations?” The answer is “Yes!” We need and appreciate your donations and commit to being good stewards of your donated product.
Do you purchase goods to sell in your stores?
No, we do not purchase goods to sell in our Thrift Stores. All merchandise is donated by generous individuals and businesses.
How are items priced?
While our goal is to raise funding for our programs, we also aim to ensure we are not pricing donated items for more than their original value. We use a pricing guide that gives industry-wide price ranges to types of merchandise. We also rely on the knowledge and expertise of our staff and volunteers to place what they believe is a fair price on all items.
Do you accept car, boat or motorcycle donations?
Generally no. But if you have something of higher value like this that you would like to donate to Family Pathways, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How does my donation and Family Pathways Thrift Stores impact the environment?
Family Pathways Thrift Stores are also committed to being good stewards of our environment. While sorting through donations, we separate the non-saleable items that we can recycle. These include metal recycling and non-saleable clothing. This also includes items that have not sold in our stores after a certain period of time. We partner with third-party vendors who accept these goods, providing an opportunity to keep millions of pounds of material out of landfills.