What Not to Donate

photo by tangobaby *Note: bourbon is for scale purposes only.

We appreciate all of your donations, we really do, but while sorting supplies we found some things in our drop bins that are, shall we say, somewhat less than useful. Things like ancient, stained baby dolls and stuffed animals.

photo by tangobaby

And matches. Medical supplies (e.g., syringes, gauze, suture scissors). Broken umbrellas. 3-D glasses. Aromatic candles. Random books. Backpacks containing the remains of someone’s lunch. Unwrapped toothbrushes. Soiled clothing. Unwashed clothing. Swim diapers. Decorative bowls. Half-filled Nalgene bottles and half-filled peri bottles. Old baby bottles made with BPA plastics. Open, leaking, and nearly empty bottles of shampoo, lotion, and conditioner.

Although I must admit, the surgical gloves came in handy when sorting through some of these items, so thanks for those.

By contrast, here are some things that would be great to drop off:

  • Diapers! Especially in larger sizes (3 and up), in open or sealed packages.
  • Pull-ups
  • Baby wipes
  • Tampons and pads
  • Costco-sized packs of toothpaste and toothbrushes
  • Unopened, unleaky bottles of shampoo, conditioner, lotion — both travel and full size
  • Unopened baby care items (diaper cream, ointments, saline drops)
  • Unopened and unexpired infant formula
  • Brand-new socks and underwear for kids

A good rule of thumb for those who are considering donating items is to ask yourself, “Would I want to be given this?” If the answer is ewww, then please deposit the items in the trash instead. HAMO’s all-volunteer crew thanks you!