Being stuck at home the past month has really grown my donation pile and my collection of cardboard boxes.

But Give Back Box is taking care of both of these problems by letting me ship donation items for free.

The nonprofit organization has partnered with retailers like Amazon, Overstock.com, JCPenney, Nordstrom, LOFT, Levi’s and LEGO to help clear people’s closets and support charities across the country.

Thrift stores and other donation centers have been closed since March, so this is a gift.

Here’s how it works:

 

1. Fill a box with things you want to donate.

Any corrugated box will do, but the whole program is based on repurposing boxes from online shopping. Chances are, you’ve probably been getting some more Amazon boxes lately that you could use.

Stuff the box with gently used clothing and household items you’re willing to donate — things like shoes, shorts, shoes, toys and jewelry.

Give Back Box can’t accept large electronics (think TVs), liquids, fragile items (like dishes), or hazardous or volatile items (like ammunition).

 

2. Print a free shipping label.

You can go to the Give Back Box shipping label page, or pick a participating retailer, and enter your zip code (and, if you want to be contacted, your email address). Check the box if you want a donation receipt for tax deduction purposes, and the click “print label.”

Give Back Box will automatically pick from a list of community-based charities that sell second-hand items — such as Goodwill, The Salvation Army and Big Brothers Big Sisters — and put that on your printable shipping label. The label comes with a tracking number.

 

3. Ship your box, for free.

Tape the shipping label to your box. You’ll either be shipping via the U.S. Postal Service, or UPS — so pay attention to which service is listed on your shipping label. Then, you can either drop your package off at a local Post Office or UPS drop-off spot, or you can schedule a free USPS or UPS pickup at your home.

You can ship from any of the U.S. states, and Puerto Rico. The program is also available in Canada and the U.K.

 

 

4. Do it again — there’s no limit to the number of boxes you can send.

But you will need a separate label for each box you send. Shipping is paid for by the nonprofits who rely on these donations to run various community-based programs. They need them more than ever.

Also: Got extra LEGO bricks lying around? The LEGO Replay program connects the much-loved building sets with kids in need, through organizations like Teach for America and the Boys and Girls Clubs.

 

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