When Jackson County residents clean out their closets this spring, Southern Oregon organizations want them to think about donating unwanted clothing, blankets or shoes.
During the holidays, Jackson County residents helped many local organizations. But Dee Anne Everson, director of United Way of Jackson County, said the effort needs to continue through the year because donations could decline as the economy falters.
Everson said nonprofits can make do with things that many people discard.
Old office supplies that are replaced every year by businesses are sometimes reused by her organization.
"We are a recipient of a bunch of file folders from Rep. Greg Walden's office," she said.
If a business is remodeling or downsizing, unwanted chairs and office furniture can be donated to many nonprofits.
Everson said her office is filled with used filing cabinets, chairs and tables. "Every bookcase in our office was donated," she said.
Any items not used by her organization are passed on to other agencies.
Everson and others urge Jackson County residents to consider donating:
- Items in closets and garages that might otherwise be discarded during spring cleaning.
- Clothes and other items after a loved one has died.
- Clothes that have been outgrown or no longer fit.
- Pet food that a cat or dog needing a special diet can no longer eat.
During a recent donation drive for local organizations, the Democratic Party in Jackson County discovered it helped to let local residents know the specific items that an organization needs, such as socks or blankets.
"People feel good in giving exactly what people want," said Denise Cyr, who heads the community outreach program for local Democrats.
She said the Democratic headquarters has agreed to continue to make space available to collect items for specific organizations.
Cyr said Democrats are gearing up to organize a spring donation drive.