now what the hell do i do with it?

26 01 2010

perhaps you’ve heard me spout off before about how i refuse to buy anything that  i either don’t use, or that can’t be donated. the scary truth is that you can technically “donate” anything by ditching it at an unattended donation center, or camouflaging the rogue goods in with other more useful items, but i don’t play that way. my concept of donation-worthy means that the product being donated can actually be used by cause it is being donated to. for example, i’m pretty sure there isn’t a cause that exists that needs lee press on nails. thus, i don’t buy them.

anyway, blood glucose monitors had always been on my “no buy” list, but this week i’m reevaluating that stance after reading this kick ass article on couponsdealsandmore. it really made me think about all the other things on my list that might be more donate-able than i give them credit for. air fresheners? nope. box haircolor? still nope. diet pills? NEVER! make-up? maybe.

i’m a pretty low maintenance girl, and what products i do use,  i’m fiercely brand-loyal. however, there are usually tons of great drugstore deals on cosmetics every week, and every week i pass them by.  maybe it’s time to reconsider.  i did a little bit of research today, and was able to come up with a few ways that your unopened lipstick stash (be it from couponing or impulse buying) can find a good home.

1. my first call was to the preble street resource center. although they don’t list cosmetics on their in-kind donation list, they will most definitely accept them. i spoke with the (very nice and extremely helpful) head of their in-kind donations program, and she said that they don’t get a lot of that sort of thing, but that they do go over well both at the women’s shelter and teen center. that said, they don’t exactly need a dumptruck of eyeliner to show up at their doors, but unopened cosmetics included with other in-kind approved products are most certainly welcome.

2. my next stop was the southern maine branch of dress for success. a very cool program that promotes  economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire and career development, they do accept donations of unopened cosmetics.  Unfortunately at the moment (due to the small size of their current facility), they have had to put a halt  on accepting donations of any items (including cosmetics), except the following:

-women’s winter dress coats/lined raincoats in all sizes
-women’s professional clothing ONLY in sizes 16 and up
-new knee highs and trouser socks
-shoes that are new or barely worn in sizes 8 and up

they will update their website when they are able to accept more items, but in the meantime- go dig through your closet, or load up on knee-highs the next time you’re at rite aid!

3. in my googling travels, i also came across this pretty cool new jersey based organization called cosmetics for a cause. if nothing else, maybe we can send our donations in the mail?

all in all, it looks like there aren’t a ton of cosmetic donation opportunities, but maybe more than you thought (certainly more than i thought). if you can’t find an opportunity that works in your area, you can always use your good old fashioned yankee ingenuity and make one of your own. maybe there’s a local community theater that could use some new make-up, a broke friend who needs to throw a kick-ass sweet 16 party, or you could just sell it on ebay or craigslist and donate the money to whoever you like. as tim gunn would say, make it work!

although as a side note, you might want to leave the day-glo clown-whore make-up at the cvs. try to go for things that are professional, clean looking, and appropriate for all ages.


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5 responses

26 01 2010
Jen

I have bought 2 glucose meters so far. Both were free and I even got $5 ECB’s for the one. I am going to see about donating them to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, they have an office right near here. I got free Ivory, free Olay bars and free Johnson’s first aid kits today too. I will soon have a donation box… now just have to figure out where I wanna donate it.

26 01 2010
bessmarvin

i feel like such a chump for not figuring how to donate the glucose meters earlier! they’re usually pretty good moneymakers too. i have a big rubbermaid bin in my hall closet where i pile all my donate stuff. i take it down to preble street whenever it gets too full to close the lid. i chose them because (among other things) they run a women’s shelter, teen center, and soup kitchen. they’re absolutely the heart of homeless services in portland. i’m sure you can find something equally cool in your neighborhood. i’d be curious to know what you pick!

26 01 2010
Jessica

Your freakinng hilarious!

26 01 2010
bessmarvin

thanks! was it the lee press on reference that did it? 🙂

29 11 2010
shaking the bell. « broke 207

[…] cosmetics with extrabucks that i didn’t know what to do with, and i wrote a post about donating makeup (or trying to unsuccessfully). when i called my favorite local charity to see what their stance was […]

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