Donating Cosmetics & Toiletries

Archived Q&A and Reviews



Where to donate scented full size toiletries

Jan 2013

I received a gift set of scented lotion, body spray and wash from Bath and Body Works, but already have enough of these types of toiletries. They are full size and I'm wondering if there's an organization in the East Bay I can donate these things too? I'd love some recommendations! Thanks anonymous

You can donate them to A Friendly Place in Oakland. It's a shelter for homeless women. They also offer transitional housing and programming. They will likey use your lotion as prizes in their weekly BINGO games. The woman there will be very appreciative. We have donated many things to this organization over the years, and have always been impressed by the women who run it and the services they provide. You can learn more about them from this article in Oakland Magazine: Lisa

Homeless shelter to donate travel size bottles?

April 2011

Does anyone know of a homeless shelter or place in Oakland to donate travel size bottles of shampoos, baby shampoos, powder and other types of hygienic products? I have so many I know someone can use them. Thanks, want to donate

The Bay Area Rescue Mission houses men, women, teens, and children. They would welcome these items. 2114 Macdonald Avenue, Richmond, 510-215-4555. A frequent donor

Berkeley Food and Housing Project would love, love, love these!!! They are always asking for exactly this kind of donation.
2362 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, CA 94704
Phone: (510) 649-4965
Former board member

Donating hotel toiletries

Dec 2008

Does anyone know of a local organization that accepts donations of toiletries (ie travel size bottles etc) . I have a lot and would like to donate them perhaps to a homeless shelter in the area? BPN had some older responses online, but I wanted to see if anyone had current info. thanks! Jessica

Clausen House Thrift Store on Telegraph near 45th in Oakland will take them. linda

Check this out for your toiletries. I have made many donations of things to this charity
Dear Friends of CalSAFE, So much has changed since last Christmas. I am no longer working in Emeryville and the CalSAFE school moved to the Fruitvale District of Oakland into the same building as Brighter Beginnings, on 27th and International Blvd in Oakland. The population of the school has also increased to over 40 students and for the first time have two teen fathers in the program!! They even have girls as young as 13. Visit us at: [...] Checks can be made out to: Growing Up Together Program c/o Trish Moylan Davis 1409 Murwood Drive Walnut Creek, CA 94596 Home 925-256-9435

In San Francisco, Glide Memorial Church takes small toiletries for their homeless clients. They put them in personal hygiene kits for their clients. Fellow Toiletries Collector

Berkeley Food and Housing Project is any excellent nonprofit that focuses on transitioning homeless to permanent housing. They have an emergency shelter that greatly appreciates donations of travel size toiletries. To arrange a donation, you can contact Anne Landsberger at (510) 649-4965 x 312 or email alandsberger [at] If you want to learn more about Berkeley Food and Housing Project, you can check out the website at Laura

I haven't worked at the Berkeley Women's Shelter for a couple of years now but I'm sure they will take your toiletries, and the personal size ones from hotels are best of all. The shelter always needs toiletries, towels, and linens. It's located at 2140 Dwight Way, just above Shattuck, and you should be able to drop off your donation at almost any time before 7 p.m. Nancy

First Presbyterian Church, Berkeley (corner of Channing & Dana) collects small toiletries for the homeless. When the homeless dinner is served, they can pick them up. appreciating all donations

Contact a local homeless shelter - they are always in need of toiletries that they can pass out to their guests. If you don't know where they are - call 211, the recently activited social service information network now in use in the Bay Area - they can give you the information. I can also recommend you contact GRIP (Greater Richmond Interfaith Program) in Richmond which operates a free lunch program as well as the only family shelter in West County - and despite the name, there is no religious requirement to obtain services.

try the Suitcase Clinic, in particular the General Clinic, which meets Tuesdays, 6:00 - 9:00 PM, at the First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, 2407 Dana Street at Haste Street and here's their web site:

Feb 2007

I'm looking for an organization/charity in the East Bay where I can donate hotel toiletries, i.e. soaps, shampoos, shower caps, etc. Ideally, I'd like to find one that benefits women and children. Many thanks! Lynna

The Towne House at 625 Oakland Avenue in Oakland (94611) 510-658-9480 welcomes unused toiletries for their clients. They serve people with mental health conditions who are transitioning into independent living. Susan

I spent a year as an intern at the Berkeley Women's Shelter and they can always use hotel toiletries. They also take the larger sizes (preferably new bottles), but they really need the small ones to give out individually. The shelter is located at 2140 Dwight Way, just east of Shattuck, and you can drop things off anytime after 10am, except Wednesday, when they don't open till 12pm. Thank you for donating! Nancy

You can donate hotel toiletries to the Multi-Agency Service Center (a BOSS program) in downtown Berkeley. MASC is a drop-in center for homeless men and women. They provide over 200 free showers a weeek and they provide all toiletries and towels too. While participants wait for showers they can meet with case managers, health care providers, mental health providers, HIV testing, etc. Call Robert Long, the Site Supervisor at (510)684-7045 to arrange pick up/drop off.

Where to donate bubble baths, soaps, etc

May 2008

I have recently completed my spring cleaning and have turned up a dozen or so half full bottles of bubble bath, body wash, lotions, and some make-up (eyeliner, shadow, lip sticks, lip liner). All of it is designer (MAC, Benefit, Origins, Bed Bath Body Works) and I hate to just toss it. Does anyone know of a shelter or other such agency that would accept glamorous but used toiletries like these? I would also just give them away to anyone interested if I can't find a shelter or womens' program in need. The whole lot of it fits into a small tote bag so it's not a ton of stuff. Thanks! nikki

''The Freecycle Network'' is made up of 4,356 groups with 5,070,000 members across the globe. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer (them's good people). Membership is free.'' Love Freecycle

Unopened hair and bath products

June 2007

Hi, does anybody know of any women's shelter that can use unopened hair and bath products? As a teacher I receive a lot of these from my students. For one reason or another I can't use them and I'd hate to throw them away. Thank you.

The Women's drop-in Center at 2218 Acton Street, Berkeley CA 94702, (510) 548-2884 will take them: