Where to Donate Winter Gear in Massachusetts
Last week’s frigid Thanksgiving had us rooting around for all manner of winter gear, and checking whether things from last year fit, which turned my mind towards how hard winter is in New England for many families. Winter coats and boots can be expensive, and we will soon be in the zone where waiting at bus stops and walking to school requires all the layers. Below is a roundup of 13 places where families can donate winter gear in Massachusetts. And if you are a family in need of winter gear, visit the sites to learn about how to connect with donated items. I'm so grateful to these organizations for the work they do to help so many.
Also, an idea! We’re hosting a holiday open house this year and welcomed our guests to let us help them declutter for good. We invited our friends to bring winter gear donations and we’ll take care of winging them to one or more of the below organizations.
1. Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program
Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program provides or assures access to the highest quality health care for all homeless individuals and families in the greater Boston area. They have a list of ongoing donation needs, as well as seasonal needs; they accept winter gear donations between October to March.
2. Big Sister Association of Greater Boston
3. Anton’s Cleaners Coats for Kids
Anton’s Cleaners Coats for Kids program has basically ensured that I will give them all my dry cleaning business! Now through January 6, drop kids and adults winter coats at all Anton’s Cleaners, Enterprise Bank, and Jordan’s Furniture locations, and Anton’s will professionally clean the coats and distribute them through the Coats for Kids Distribution Partners network, which includes organizations such as Massachusetts Community Action Programs (MASSCAP), Salvation Army, Women’s Lunch Place, DCF, and Catholic Charities.
4. Volunteers of America Massachusetts
Volunteers of America Massachusetts serves low-income, homeless, and vulnerable populations throughout Eastern Massachusetts. They are in need of winter gear donations, which can be dropped off or mailed to their Jamaica Plain address.
5. City Mission
City Mission is focused on homelessness prevention. Their Coat Boston program intentionally focuses on securing new coats because: “A new warm coat says, ‘Boston cares about you.’ A new warm coat says ‘you are worthy of something that is yours.’ A new warm coat says ‘you are important to your community.’”
6. Catie’s Closet
Catie’s Closet provides a unique solution to kids in need by setting up “stores/walk in closets” right in schools so children in pre-K through grade 12 have immediate access to what they need. In addition to clothing and winter gear, they accept toiletry items.
7. Second Chances
With several drop off locations in Somerville, Cambridge and Watertown, Second Chances makes donating gently used clothing and winter gear really easy; as long as it is wearable, they’ll take it. The openings of their donation bins are only 3’ x 2’ so make sure to place your clothing, shoes, and accessories in a small or medium-sized plastic garbage bag (no hangers and no boxes). Second Chances does not provide tax receipts for items donated.
8. Room to Grow
Probably one of the most well know agencies in the Boston area, the mission of Room to Grow is to build a strong foundation for babies in poverty. Focusing on children aged newborn through three years old, donations of all gently used or new clothing and baby gear is accepted at their main location in Boston, as well as other various donation locations. Tax receipts are provided.
9. Cradles to Crayons
Cradles to Crayons provides children from birth through age 12 living in homeless or low-income situations with essential items such coats, clothing, shoes, toys, books, and school supplies. All clothing types, including winter gear, are accepted and appreciated. The main donation location is in Brighton but there are many others around the state and the online tax receipt makes it easy to claim the donation come tax time.
10. Gifts to Give
Gifts to Give is housed in a former golf ball factory and focuses its giving primarily to the south coast of MA. They accept most gently used clothing and toy items for newborns through school aged children, though there are some things they don’t take, so be sure to check this list before dropping off.
11. Burlington Coat Factory
Until January 21, families can donate coats for men, women, or children at most Burlington Coat Factory locations via BCF's Warm Coats & Warm Hearts Drive.
12. One Warm Coat
One Warm Coat is an aggregate site that lists donation locations by state (just pop in your zip code to find donation locations). While it may take a bit more digging, you’ll surely find a coat donation location somewhere close to you.
13. Your neighborhood
There are likely options right in your neighborhood! Check with schools in your town or your town/city hall about donation/pickup options. Also, sometimes police/fire stations or other community organizations will host donation drives.