In-Kind Donation Guide

Posted On November 25, 2014 By | No Comments on In-Kind Donation Guide


The Giving Season is well on its way, and we are so thankful to our supporters who are looking to give back this year.   Because of your generous donations, we are able to help meet the needs of dozens of guests staying with us in shelter.

If you are looking for ways to help out, we have many ongoing needs that are always demand:

  • Razors
  • New bath towels
  • New washcloths
  • New, packaged bedding (full and twin-sized sheet sets, blankets, comforters, pillows, pillowcases)
  • Gift cards for basic needs (in amounts of $5-25 for grocery, clothing, shoes, pharmacy, gas)
  • New, unopened toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, soap, razors, toothbrushes, deodorant, foot powder, lotion, baby wipes, sunscreen, etc)
  • New, unopened cleaning products (disinfecting wipes, all-purpose cleaner, glass cleaner, paper towels, dish soap, sponges, laundry detergent, dryer sheets, laundry baskets)
  • Bowls & Cups
  • Diapers (all sizes, but we are especially low on sizes 5 & 6)
  • Powdered infant formula (i.e. Enfamil, Similac)
  • CCTA Bus Passes (10-ride or 30-day)
  • New kitchen items: pots, pans, cutlery, flatware, dishes
  • New adult sweatpants (Men’s sizes L and XL)
  • New sweatshirts (larger sizes)
  • Sunscreen
  • Feminine hygiene products

Please note that we only accept NEW and UNUSED donations.  We do this in order to ensure the safety of our guests.  New items present a lower risk of household pests that can spread quickly throughout shelter.  In addition, we want to give our guests goods they can be proud of, whether it be a fresh, clean pillow to put his or her head down at night, or a gift card that enables a parent to buy their child’s first ever holiday present.

Many people have asked if we have an “adopt a family” program for children in shelter during the holidays.  COTS does not have an “adopt a family” program.  WE DO, however, coordinate with organizations for book and toy drives to create a holiday “store” where parents can “shop” and pick out a present for their children at no cost.  We also gladly accept gift cards so parents can shop for gifts for their children (such as clothes in right size).

We are so thankful that people think of us when they are looking to do in-kind charitable giving, but there are certain items that we cannot accept due to storage constraints and other issues.

We DO NOT accept:

  • Furniture
  • Clothing, other than those items listed above
  • Used shoes/boots
  • Sleeping bags
  • Tents
  • Used books/magazines
  • Appliances
  • Opened/partially used toiletries or cleaning products
  • Used toys/games
  • OTC medications/analgesics
  • Pet supplies
  • Used or open towels, linens or bedding

There are plenty of organizations in the community, however, that would gladly take these donations:

We work with these partners and many others to make sure our guests connect with the resources they need.

You might also consider checking out some of our partners’ wish lists:

Thank you again for your support, we are humbled by your generosity.  If you’d like to keep track of our needs, check out our wish list.  If you have any further questions, contact Lori at  Happy Giving!

Categories: Donations, Volunteers
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