Last week, on a whim, I decided to donate my super-long hair to Locks of Love. I’m not sure where this voice of inspiration came from, but decided I’d better listen quickly before I lost my nerve. Two days later, as I put my newly-detached braid into a padded envelope addressed to Florida, I was struck by the creativity of the Locks of Love mission. They are dependent on people donating their hair. How amazingly peculiar! It got me thinking about more ways we can creatively support nonprofits while trying to pinch our pennies. Here are just a few Pittsburgh nonprofits looking for interesting items to accomplish their unique missions.

free-ride-bikeDonate your bikes to Free Ride

Free Ride is not a traditional repair shop, where you drop off a bike and someone fixes it, but a bicycle educational facility. There is that old saying, “If you give a person a fish, they will eat for a day. If you teach them how to fish, they will eat for a lifetime.” That is the philosophy at Free Ride. During Adult Open Shop, you can fix your own bike, volunteer, donate, buy or Earn-A-Bike.


Donate your bridesmaid or prom dresses to Project Prom.

Project Prom provides evening attire to high schools students receiving services or eligible to receive services from the Department of Human Services (DHS) through donations from retail establishments and the general public. The Project began in 2003 and has assisted hundreds of students.

Donate craft items to the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Fabric Fair.
Each April the SA Women’s Auxiliary collects and sorts donated fabric, yarn, patterns, kits, craft items, and how to books, to sell at their annual Fabric Fair in the South Park Home Economics Building on Brownsville Road.
Fabric Fair generates more than $20,000 annually and provides critical social support services in Allegheny County.

blood-croppedDonate your blood through the Central Blood Bank.

Central Blood Bank invites you to create an emotional and rewarding bond with area patients who are in need of transfusions. You can brighten these lives by donating blood quarterly and sharing your lifesaving experience with friends and family. These patients whose lives you can touch would agree, “to the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.”

Please feel free to add to this list of nonprofits looking for unique donations! Spring cleaning, anyone?