Donating Bedding & Towels

Parent Q&A

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  • We have a beautiful cover for a queen-size comforter that we got at Earthsake several years ago. Sadly, it has started to fray on the end to the point where it is not useable and we had to replace it. Apart from the edges, it is such a beautiful piece of fabric (silk and cotton, I think) that I'd like to donate it to someone or someplace that could make good use of it. For instance, if someone cut the ends off, it could be remade into a twin-size cover. Are there organizations that would be interested in receiving donations of nice fabric like this? Thanks for any suggestions!

    The fabric store on Shattuck in downtown Berkeley (Stonemountain & Daughter) has a bin for fabric donations.  The bin is free for anyone to look through.  I have gotten some lovely pieces of fabric from it.

    You can post it here under free stuff (marketplace) and I bet someone would love it.

    I totally understand about wanting objects to have a new home where they will be used and appreciated.

    - Kindred Spirit

Archived Q&A and Reviews


What to do with old sheets & towels?

March 2012

What does one do with old sheets (w/holes in them) and old towels?? We have too many rags and not enough space and would like to pass along to a place that could use them. I believe the SPCA used to take stuff like this, but not sure anymore. anon

I don't know if they take sheets, but local wildife rehab centers are often in need of old towels and pillow cases. They are used as bedding for the animals and for general clean-up. Try contacting the wildlife hospital at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek, or Wildcare in San Rafael. Cristina

I'm pretty certain most animal shelters, or rescue organizations will take sheets and towels. Call Milo Foundation, ARF, East Bay SPCA,...They're all in need. Thanks for asking. anon

I recently brought a big bag of old sheets & towels to the Berkeley Humane Society on 9th St & they happily took my donation. reduce, reuse, recycle

Oakland Animal Services is ALWAYS looking for donations of towels, blankets, quilts, bathmats, small rugs, and flannel sheets to be used as dog bedding. Most of the dogs do not have beds to elevate them off the concrete floors, so the staff folds up towels and the like to create a soft place for the dogs to lie. For directions and hours see: Dog Volunteer

Disposing of old used pillows

Jan 2009

I am wondering if anyone has recommendations of how or where to dispose of or donate old/used bed pillows. I hate to throw them away, but am trying to par down and don't want to hang onto them forever. Much appreciated for any ideas. anon

I just donated some old blankets and t-shirts to the Oakland Zoo education center for animal enrichment activities. You could see if they would take old pillows also. asymetry

How about your local Humane Society or animal rescue? An old pillow would make a very comfy bed for a cat or small dog.

Donation of bedding

Nov 2008

My mother died recently and I am looking for a charity to donate some bedding and kitchen items. I thought of the foster kids who are going out on their own or battered women, but I could not find anything by searching google or making calls. I live in North Oakland and work in Berkeley and would like to find something easy to get to. Judy

If you can't find someone who wants it as bedding, you can donate it to animal shelters like the Oakland SPCA -- they need old sheets and towels for animal care and bedding. Closet Cleaner

Try Women's Refuge in Oakland. They work with women fleeing abusive situations, and many women are starting new lives that need everything from bedding to sanitary products to job interview clothes. (510) 547-4663

Also, many humane societies will take old pillows, heating pads, bedding and fur coats for the animals they rescue (and the baby animals who need more warmth). Cynthia

Organizing a Blanket/Warm Clothing Drive

October 2006

My daughter's Brownie troop would like to do a blanket and warm clothing drive for an organization that distributes these type of items to people in need of them. Can anyone recommend a good organization in this vein? Any guidelines on how these things work? This is only our troop's second year and none of the parent helpers have ever done anything like this before. The troop is located in Moraga and we'd like to help out communities in our area, but finding any Bay Area organization in need of these items would be great. Brownie Mom

Two excellent organizations are Building Opportunities for Self Sufficiency and the Women's Daytime Drop-in Center, both in Berkeley Anon

It's not in Moraga, but YEAH is currently asking for donations of clean blankets - twin size only. They are located in Berkeley, and serve homeless young adults during the winter months. They specifically need blankets (as well as socks, warm clothes, and rain ponchos). See R.K.

I spear-headed the coat drive for my daughter's school last year and I contacted One Warm Coat. They will sent you a packet to help you get started as well as charities that need the donations. You can go to their website and get most of the information that you need. Good luck! Stephanie

Where to donate sheet sets, towels & bedding

March 2003

I have several queen sheet sets and bedding (with accent pillows), blankets, towels etc. that I want to donate . . . but to who? The Red Cross doesn't take this kind of donation, Catholic Charities only wants twin bedding. Any suggestions? Everything is in good to very good condition--I sewed away any problems. anon

ThriftTown in El Sobrante sells their donated bedding, so I'm quite certain they'll take it. I've never donated there (but I've purchased quite a bit) so I don't know the donation process, but I'm sure someone can help if you called there. Sorry, I don't have the phone number. Kathy

The Emeryville Community Action Program (ECAP) takes all kinds of household items, and distributes them to needy folks. They are located at 3610 San Pablo (on the east side of the street, just before the freeway over-pass) R.K.

Old towels, sheets, clothing too worn out to give away

Aug 2004

I have a bunch of old clothes, towels and sheets that are too worn out to use or give away. My mother tells me that when she was a kid, the rag man used to come by and collect old clothes and material for recycling. I would love to find a use for these things, as I don't want to simply throw them in the trash and I don't have the space to store them. If any of you can suggest a place to bring them for recycling -- or if you have any other ideas for what to do with them -- that would be great. Thanks so much -- Amy

I'm not sure about the clothes or sheets, but the East Bay SPCA can always use towels for making cozy beds in the cages. You can drop them off at the following location:
Oakland SPCA 8323 Baldwin Street Oakland, CA 94602 510-569-0702

Dogs for the Blind up in Marin County appreciates towels for washing and drying the dogs there. Used towels are just fine. anon

you can donate worn sheets, towels, etc to bay area animal shelters, who will use (and re-use!) them to give homeless cats soft bedding. speaking for the san francisco spca- I can say that old washcloths are not big enough to be useful, and please only machine-washable fabrics. You can get a donation receipt for tax purposes, as well as knowing you are helping the animals! dilara

My favorite resource for questions like this is - you can get all sorts of info on recycling and environmentally concious products and services. Two suggestions would be to contact the following organizations. At garage sales we've had there's always been a good demand for old sheets and towels as people use them for rags, drop cloths, etc., so the following groups might have a similar need or can direct you elsewhere. East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse 6713 San Pablo Ave., (510) 547- 6470 SCRAP = (415) 647-1746 anon

1. Even if they are too worn for human use, animal shelters may welcome the towels (and possibly other textiles). 2. I can't guarantee that they will, in fact, be recycled, but I know Goodwill industries does accept textile scrap at many of its locations. According to their official web site, ''... some member Goodwills recycle old clothing scraps into industrial wipes (cleaning cloths) for industrial buyers''. I believe they may also sell it as mixed textile scrap for low-quality fill (carpet padding, padded mailing envelopes, etc.) I generally put them in a large bag clearly labelled ''TEXTILE SCRAP'', drop them at the Goodwill trailer at the El Cerrito Recycling Center, and hope for the best. R.K.

The Oakland SPCA can always use clean rags for animal care. I've given them several bags full over the past year through a neighbor who volunteers there. You can call the SPCA for details, or email me and I'll put you in touch with my neighbor if you like. jppost

I'm not sure about the clothes (I've got a few bags myself), but most animal shelters, rescue groups, etc., would gladly take the towels and sheets. I''ve donated some to the East Bay Humane Society and the SF SPCA, and I'm sure Milo, Hopalong, ARF, and almost any other such organization could use them. Towels are always needed after oil spills to help clean birds and other wildlife, so you may check with some wildlife or bird rescue/rehab places as well (eg. Lindsay Wildlife, Internat'l. Bird Rescue in Berkeley at Aquatic Park). Tracy