Some of the things that would sometimes be considered discards can be given a second life in helping others:
What do you do with your magazines when you are done reading them? After removing the name and address label, you can drop them off at various waiting rooms; doctor, dentist, car repair, etc. Many assisted living facilities would appreciate receiving magazines for their residents to read or just page through. If you happen to be very lucky, your local library may have a rack where you can drop off your magazine and pick up another one that catches your eye. In some areas there are bins where your old magazines can be recycled to help the Ronald McDonald House. And well, if all else fails, there’s always your trusty recycling bin.
Old eyeglasses can be donated to the Lions Eyeglass Recycling The Lions Eyeglass Recycling Centers (LERC) have collection bins in churches, libraries optometrists, and other public locations. If you are unable to find a donation bin, you can contact your local Lions club, or package your usable eyeglasses and mail them to:
Lions Clubs International Headquarters
Attn: Receiving Dept
300 W 22nd St
Oak Brook, IL 60523
After collection, the glasses are sorted, cleaned and processed by volunteers for distribution to the needy. Your old eyeglasses can make a huge difference in the life of someone.
Donate a used cell phone, smart phone or tablet to Cell Phones for Soldiers (www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com). There are also some other agencies that collect used cell phones and distribute them to the needy.
Secure the Call is a 501(c)(3) charity that provides free 911 emergency-only cell phones to Senior Citizen Centers, Domestic Violence Shelters and used to contact the police in case of an emergency. If there is no collection site in your area, you can host a four-week collection at your workplace. Go to www.securethecall.org for more information.
Another good organization which recycles and reuses cell phones is American Cell Phone Drive (www.americancellphonedrive.org) American Cell Phone is an organization devoted to the socially responsible reuse of retired cellular telephones and cell phone components, AmericanCellPhoneDrive.org raises funds for charitable organizations which provide scholarships for American children who have lost a parent to enemy or terrorist acts, feed malnourished children in Asia, build low-income housing and donate prepaid calling cards to military personnel. Cellular phone collection drives have also been used as school fundraisers, to finance community recreation programs and to provide working telephones and 911 service to at-risk individuals, such as needy senior citizens, who would otherwise be without phone service. You can also donate used cell phones to Secure the Call (http://www.securethecall.org/). This organization makes phones available to senior citizens and domestic violence survivors.
If you have extra blankets that are in good shape, they can be donated to your local homeless shelter. Blankets and towels that are showing some wear are always welcome at an animal shelter. You can’t believe how many of those they need. They are continually doing laundry!
Another benefit to passing on your items is that you keep them out of a landfill. So that is a double-benefit.
I’m going to call it quits for now. I will be back with more ideas.
Ultimately we have just one moral duty: to reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves, and to reflect it towards others. And the more peace there is in us, the more peace there will be in our troubled world. Etty Hillesum