Local charity encourages donating unwanted gifts

Posted at 4:39 PM, Dec 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-26 13:25:38-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - If you got Christmas presents that you really didn't want or need, one option is to re-gift them to charities.

'Tis the season to give and give back. Big brothers Big Sisters of the Big Bend wants those presents you'd rather not have.

"I think we all have those grandparents, God love them, they love to give to their grandchildren, but sometimes there's just a multitude of stuff," said

Alva Striplin, the CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Big Bend.

There are more than 50 of these purple bins in the Big Bend. New and usable donations can be dropped off at any location.

"We take all kinds of donations," said Striplin. "It helps support our services, and we specialize in one-to-one mentoring, so everything that's donated helps support our agency and helps us serve kids in our community by putting a mentor in their life."

The bins are cleaned out either every week or once a month, depending on how full they get.

We found just a few things inside the ones outside the nonprofit's headquarters.

"It could be stuff that you're taking into your closet, and it's time to clean out the old stuff you're not wearing anymore," said Striplin. "Old or new, we take all of it in the donation bins."

The organization says anything that fits in the bins will be accepted, granted that it doesn't break when it's dropped inside. You can find all bin locations here.

Big brothers Big Sisters of the Big Bend aren't the only ones who will accept those too small or not-quite-right gifts that miss the mark.

Other local organizations have listed items they'd like to receive - in addition to the always welcome monetary donations - to help people who come to them for help.

A list of charities that you can donate to is below:

FLORIDA (Tallahassee) 

The Kearney Center, whose mission is to reduce homelessness, accepts a variety of donations. Those include coats, blankets, sheets, socks, underwear, feminine hygine products, ground coffee and launcry detergent. The center has listed its wishlist on their site at

The Salvation Army of Tallahassee accepts donations of appliances, clothing, furniture, vehicles and household items. The items are offered for sale in its thrift stores. It operates a food pantry and offers people clothing vouchers.

The Goodwill of the Big Bend stocks its stores with donations that include clothing, shoes and books; games, toys and sporting equipment; small appliances; dishes, glassware and kitchen utensils. Like some other charities, a short list of what's not accepted includes items that are wet, soiled, bloodstained and insect infected.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Big Bend has put out 54 Big Purple bins in its service area to collects items as a revenue source. The organization is soliciting bedding, clothing, curtains and housewares.

United Way of the Big Bend can be reached at (850) 414-0844 to find out what nonmonetary items they accept. A national United Way blog indicates that the group accepts physical goods that include crayons, household items or cooking supplies. 

The American Red Cross Capital Area Chapter's website doesn't indicate whether the organization is accepting clothing and other items, but it can be reached at (850) 878 - 6080. A Missouri chapter indicates it accepts clothing, vehicles and gifts of value such as jewelry, memorabilia and antiques that can be sold for its benefit. 


American Red Cross of South Georgia has locations in Thomasville and Valdosta and can be reached at (229) 242 - 7404 to find out what, if any items, they're accepting.

The United Way of South Georgia, which serves Clinch County, can be reached at (912) 614 - 4566 to determine their non-monetary needs. 

The Greater Valdosta United Way can be reached at (229) 242 - 2208. It serves Berrien, Brooks, Echols, Lanier and Lowndes counties.

The Salvation Army of Thomasville can be reached at (229) 226 - 3772. 

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