Have you ever had a big clear out of your wardrobe and not known what to do with all the unwanted clothes? Or had a new sofa and didn't know how to get rid of the old one? Well did you know you can give both of those items and many more to charity?

Charity shops are becoming increasingly more visible on the high street with the Charity Retail Association estimating there being around 11,200 in the UK, 5% of these being in Wales. Over 90% of sales in charity shops are from donated items according to the Charity Retail Association, meaning the shops heavily rely on the support of local donors. 

But why are charity shops a good thing and why should you donate your unwanted items to charity?

1. It supports the charity - This is the obvious one!

Donating your unwanted items supports your chosen charity and helps them to achieve their charitable objectives. When a charity sells a donated item, all the profits go to support the cause. Did you know that when you donate any unwanted items to Emmaus South Wales the profit made goes to support formerly homeless and disadvantaged individuals living in our Community home in Bridgend? This means you are helping to change people's lives who live just 2, 5, 20 miles away from you, which is amazing! Also when you visit our shops to donate, you may just bump into one of the Companions your donation has helped. Our charity shops are central to the Emmaus model as they provide meaningful work experience for Companions but also generate the funding that maintains our Community home. 

Companions Andy & Chris Companion Cookbook

2. Affordable for everyone

Items sold in charity shops are heavily discounted and are great for those bargain hunters among us. However, it also makes higher priced items such as beds, mattresses and sofas more accessible and affordable for low-income households. This in turn tackles poverty and social exclusion. No one should go without these items we often take for granted. 

Table for sale at one of our Emmaus South Wales shops

3. FREE collections and easy drop offs

Many charities will collect large items from your home for a small charge. However, if you donate large items such as sofas, dining sets and beds, Emmaus South Wales will come and collect the items FREE of charge. The process is easy. All you have to do is ring 01656 750829 and select your nearest store from the options and tell us what item(s) you wish to donate to us. The shop manager may ask you a few questions such as "Does it have the fire safety label attached?" and "Is it in a good, saleable condition?". Collection will then be arranged at your convenience. 

(Please bear in mind that our shop staff and van team have the right to refuse a donation based on stock levels and condition as we have to pay to dispose of items we can't sell. Thank you for your understanding.)

New van ready to get loaded with deliveries

4. Impacts the wider community

Donating to charity not only supports the charities objectives, it also helps the wider community and the people within the community. One of the most important parts of the Emmaus ethos is solidarity. This basically means helping those who need it most. Every month Emmaus helps local disadvantaged individuals by donating furniture packs to people who have nothing.

During 2018/19 Emmaus South Wales donated a massive £8631.10 worth of items to local individuals in need. We work with other local organisations to support people who may have moved into accommodation and don't even have a bed for them and their children to sleep on. This work helps to eliminate poverty and social exclusion. 

Solidarity figure for 2018/19

Companions also help the wider community by volunteering their time to re-donate surplus food to other homeless organisations and support local projects

Our charity shops also engage with the community by offering volunteering, training and employment placements and opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds. People volunteer with us for many different reasons whether it be to give back to the community, socialise, gain work experience or to build confidence and self-esteem. We currently have over 50 volunteers who collaboratively volunteer for an average of 1,741 hours a month. We couldn't run our shops without our brilliant volunteers! Volunteer with us here!

5. Helps the environment

Did you know donating your unwanted items to charity has a significant positive impact on the environment? By collecting and selling your unwanted items we are diverting thousands of usable household items from landfill and into households across South Wales. This in turn saves thousands of tonnes of CO2 emissions. 

The CO2 saving by donating 6 items to charity rather than taking them to landfill

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. If you would like to donate items to Emmaus South Wales please call 01656 750829 or click here