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Christian Center of Park City shares a few 'do’s' and 'don’ts' when it comes to donations

It’s a quiet morning around town, but the donation drive-up at the Christian Center in Park City is bustling. Roberto Sosa cruises around on his hoverboard, effortlessly transferring bags of clothes, a box of pots and pans, and some winter boots from trunks to donation bins. Ben Moreland, an associate with the Christian Center’s receiving team, noted that the transition from winter to spring is keeping them busy.

“It's been a long, cold winter. And now that the snow is starting to melt, we've seen a big increase in the donations,” said Moreland. “So we're expecting a busy spring and summer.”

The Christian Center operates donation centers in Park City and Heber City, with sales of donated items at their boutique and thrift stores generating millions to support their core programs. Without this revenue, the Christian Center would not be able to offer many of these programs.

“This past year we had just over $2 million between all three stores, so it’s a huge chunk for us,” said Rob Harter, executive director of the Christian Center. “So it’s great because all of our food pantry items, our program services, in the sense of those lose money every year. When you go to these stores, you're supporting our food pantry, Back-to-School Basics, Operation Hope, all these other programs.”

While the Christian Center relies heavily on selling donated items, there are a few “do’s” and “don’ts” for the community to keep in mind. Do bring in clothes, shoes, kitchen and other household items in good, gently used condition. Don’t bring mattresses or baby cribs, which the center cannot accept. And don’t bring in items that are stained, broken, worn out or so dated that they’re unsellable.

“Ultimately, we will recycle what we can, but most of that will unfortunately end up in the dump,” said Moreland. “We'd ask the community to dispose of that themselves in the most responsible way possible, so we don't have to incur the cost and the time to do that.”

The Christian Center does accept household electronics but they have a tough time selling outdated technology. Instead, people should take these items to Recycle Utah or the Summit County landfill, which will accept things old and broken TVs, computers, and other e-waste for a minimal fee.

The Christian Center has implemented sustainability measures to ensure responsible disposal of unsold items, but that can come at a cost and defeat the purpose of accepting donations. Harter says that a good rule of thumb is if an item wouldn’t sell at a garage sale, it’s probably not something they can use either.

Storage capacity is another issue for the center, so they ask that people not donate large items like holiday décor out of season. But that doesn’t apply to sporting equipment or winter gear.

"The only exception is ski gear or snowboards, we take that all year round. That's never out of season," said Harter.

When it comes to “do’s” and “don’ts”, another “do” is to be mindful of the center’s drop off times.

The Park City location accepts donations Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Heber location accepts donations on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Both locations may close early due to weather or overcapacity and the community is reminded not to leave items when the centers are closed. Plus you’ll miss Roberto on his hoverboard if you do.

Find details on what the Christian Center will and will not accept here.