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Local donation centers share “do’s and don’ts” heading into the new year

Habitat for Humanity of Summit and Wasatch Counties

With the holidays wrapping up, households across the Wasatch Back are cleaning up and clearing out as they put away holiday decor. It makes for a busy time of year at local donation centers like the boutique and thrift store at the Christian Center of Park City, the St. Lawrence Thrift Shop in Heber, and Habitat for Humanity of Summit and Wasatch Counties.

Sales of donated items generate millions of dollars locally for these centers’ core services, including Habitat’s homeownership programs and the Christian Center’s counseling services and food pantries. While these organizations rely heavily on selling donated goods, there are a few “do’s” and “don’ts” for the community to keep in mind.

According to Cody Broadhead, manager of Habitat’s ReStore in Silver Creek Village, the number one “do” is for donors to make sure any items they donate are in sellable condition. Broken, cracked, or stained items should not be donated because shoppers won't buy them, and local donations centers actually lose money disposing of unsellable goods.

“It's a good idea to give each one of us a call,” Broadhead said. “And just say, ‘Hey, what are you looking for?’ because we’re always happy to try to talk to people. None of us in the community really want to turn people away unless we have to. But all of us have our own little niche and space available.”

Broadhead said the ReStore accepts furniture like dressers, dining tables, and couches, as well as working appliances, which are top sellers.

“Everybody’s always looking for the fridge and the stoves lately. And washers and dryers – we can’t forget that one,” Broadhead said.

So if Santa updated your laundry room this Christmas, Habitat will gladly take your old washer as long as it’s still working.

The ReStore will also accept holiday items any time of the year, including artificial Christmas trees which they use for their annual holiday auction. The Christian Center and St. Lawrence ask that people not donate holiday items too far out of season due to their space constraints. These centers will accept gently used clothes, shoes, toys, small housewares, sporting equipment and winter gear, which are some of their biggest sellers no matter the time of year.

In general, all local donation centers struggle to sell outdated technology, so people should take electronics to Recycle Utah or the Summit County landfill, which will take items such as old TVs, computers, and other e-waste for a minimal fee.

While the number one "do” is to donate items in good condition, the number one “don’t” is don’t drop off items when donation centers are closed. Items can be ruined by being left outdoors overnight, especially this time of year. The Habitat ReStore, the Christian Center, and St. Lawrence drop off centers may close early due to weather or overcapacity, so it’s always good idea to call ahead.

See below for links to the three donation centers’ webpages, with hours of operation and donation drop-off and pick-up options:

Habitat for Humanity ReStore:
6280 Silver Creek Drive, Park City, Utah 84098
Phone: 435-487-9015
Drop-off Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 10:00 am - 4:30 pm

Christian Center of Park City:
1283 Deer Valley Drive, Park City, UT 84060
Phone: 435-649-2260
Drop-off Hours: Monday - Friday, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm; Saturday, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

St. Lawrence Thrift Shop:
Donation Center: 121 Park Avenue, Park City, UT 84060 (next to St. Mary's Old Town Chapel)
Thrift Shop: 84 S 100 W, Heber City, UT 84032
Phone: 435-659-0423
Drop-off Hours: Monday - Saturday, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm