How to Donate Appliances and Kitchen Tools to a Shelter

By Angela Tague in Helping Hands

My household is several totes deep into spring-cleaning. Decluttering isn’t just great for the house—it’s great for the mind, too! We’ve cleared extra clothes from our closet, tidied the basement, and soon we’ll tackle the kitchen cupboards so we can donate appliances, too.

But where should those extras go? Of course thrift stores and consignment shops come to mind, but have you ever considered a donation to a shelter? In addition to much-appreciated clothes, like new packages of socks and underwear, and food, particularly non-perishables and fresh garden produce, kitchen appliances are often in demand.

Each day, volunteers in these community establishments prepare meals in modest kitchens that could always benefit from a few more convenient appliances. Some organizations also offer assistance to people furnishing their first apartment, which can include providing basic kitchen necessities. If you’re clearing out any items that are clean and in working condition, consider dropping them off at your local shelter.

Small Appliances


During warmer seasons, many shelters receive donations from local gardening programs. By donating a gently used food processor or mixer, you can help them easily process the vegetables and fruits for salads and soups. Both stand-style and hand mixers are useful for preparing items like boxed mashed potatoes or baked goods.

electric skillet

Whether they’re electric, manual, or the small portable variety, can openers are in high demand at most shelters. In addition to being a key tool in the kitchen, can openers may be given out with food box distributions. As well, donate appliances that can be used to keep foods warm, as they’re helpful for volunteers serving food over extended periods of time. If you’ve accumulated a few too many slow cookers or electric roasting pans, pass them on.

Large Appliances

toaster oven

Larger establishments often receive prepared food donations and may need a way to preserve the food. Call your local community shelter, and ask if they could use your chest or upright freezer. Both convection toaster ovens and microwaves can also be useful. Since these appliances are larger, it’s best to call ahead and see if they have the space to use them, or if they know of a family that recently secured housing and could benefit from the appliance. Finally, check to see if your workplace is getting ready to upgrade the commercial-size coffee machine in the break room. Your local community center would probably be thrilled to give it a new home.

What tips do you have about how to donate kitchen appliances to in your community? We’d love to know more! Tweet us at @TomsofMaine!

Image sources: Flickr | Wikimedia Commons | Wikimedia Commons | Flickr

This article was brought to you by Tom’s of Maine. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of Tom’s of Maine.

Why It’s Good

Cleaning your kitchen and making a donation to a local shelter at the same time is a win-win. Show your children that you don't have to toss unused things in the trash. Instead, they can go to other people who will appreciate their use!