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The Complete Salvation Army Donation Guide

Person Carrying Donation Box With Clothes.
By:Andrea Axsom| Last Updated:01/17/2024
Time to Read: 6 min

Acceptable Donations for the Salvation Army

Thinking about decluttering your place? Donating to the Salvation Army has several benefits that extend beyond the simple act of giving. By granting your items a second chance to shine, you reduce waste and promote sustainability. Plus, you can usually get a tax deduction. Use our Salvation Army donation guide to help create your donation pile.

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Quick Tip
Tax rules can get tricky, especially when valuing donated items. If you're unsure about writing off a donation, it's a good idea to chat with a tax adviser to make sure you're on the right track.

The Salvation Army Logo on Side of a Building.

What Is the Salvation Army?

The Salvation Army is a charitable organization that operates globally, providing social services and humanitarian aid.

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“The Salvation Army is a nonprofit that helps millions overcome poverty, addiction, and spiritual and economic hardships by preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and meeting human needs in His name without discrimination in nearly every ZIP code. By providing food, shelter, eviction prevention assistance, emergency disaster relief, rehabilitation, after-school and summer youth programs, spiritual enrichment, and more, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at nearly 7,000 centers of operation around the country. ”
Bishop Wash, Public Relations Director | Salvation Army


What Does the Salvation Army Do With Donations?

The organization is well-known for its thrift stores, where it sells donated goods to help fund programs.

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“Donated items are sold to the public and the proceeds help fund our community social service programs, which can include food pantries, after school programs, rehabilitation programs, and more. Many of our thrift stores support The Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Centers. These centers assist people struggling with a variety of social, spiritual, or physical issues, which can include substance abuse. The residential program assists people holistically and is designed to help participants move forward with healthy, fulfilling lives.”
Bishop Wash, Public Relations Director | Salvation Army


What Can You Donate to the Salvation Army?

Decluttering your home? The Salvation Army gives second life to your gently used items, from stylish clothing to household goods and furniture. Acceptable donations for the Salvation Army vary from location to location, so contact your area’s store for their policies. In general, Salvation Army Thrift Stores will accept the following.

Clothing and Accessories

Donating clothing to the Salvation Army not only helps you overhaul your closet but also supports the nonprofit’s programs that help individuals in need. Avoid donating clothing with missing buttons, broken zippers or tears. The Salvation Army accepts the following clothing donations for their thrift store:

  • Shirts
  • Pants
  • Shoes
  • Coats
  • Dresses
  • Skirts


The Salvation Army typically accepts a variety of furniture items for donation. Items should generally be in good, usable condition. Some locations even offer pick-up services, so it's worth asking about that if you want to avoid the hassle of hauling large items. Consider donating the following furniture items:

  • Couches
  • Chairs
  • Bed frames
  • Tables
  • Dressers
  • Cribs
Two Salvation Army Delivery Workers Moving a Washing Machine.


Replacing your household appliances? You can donate your old devices to the Salvation Army as long as they’re clean, in working condition and include a power cord. Gas appliances and built-in appliances are not allowed. Commonly accepted appliances include:

  • Air conditioners
  • Microwaves
  • Toasters
  • Washing machines and dryers
  • Refrigerators and freezers
  • Stoves
Person Placing Books in Donation Box.

Books and Media

Let’s face it — you’re not going to read that book that’s been on your shelf for a decade. Donate it to the Salvation Army and help it reach another home. The Salvation Army accepts the following media if they’re in good working condition:

  • Books
  • DVDs
  • CDs
  • Vinyl records

Toys and Games

Don’t let your kids' outgrown toys sit and collect dust. You can bring smiles to children who might not have access to such treasures by donating the toys your kids have moved on from. Make sure toys are in good condition, with all parts intact. Check the toy box for these items:

  • Dolls
  • Action figures
  • Blocks
  • Board games
  • Puzzles

Sporting Goods

If you stumble across old sports equipment as you’re cleaning out your garage, consider creating opportunities for activity in the lives of others. The Salvation Army accepts the following sporting goods:

  • Balls
  • Bats
  • Rackets
  • Roller skates and inline skates
  • Bicycles
  • Exercise equipment


By parting with your electronic items, you not only contribute to sustainability but also help bridge the digital divide for those who don’t have access to tech. The following devices are accepted, but they must be in working condition and not too outdated:

  • Lamps
  • TVs
  • Radios
  • Cell phones
  • Laptops
  • Personal computers
Person Placing Canned Goods in a Donation Box.

Non-Perishable Food Items

The Salvation Army has many neighborhood food pantries that provide non-perishable food items to families fighting food insecurity. Open or expired products aren’t accepted. You can contribute to the supply by donating the following items:

  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned fruit
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Beans

Hygiene Products

Everyone deserves access to daily care products. Here’s what to donate to the Salvation Army if it’s unused and unexpired:

  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Soap
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • Razors
Child Placing School Supplies in Donation Box.

School Supplies

The Salvation Army makes sure students have what they need to do well in school. To participate in your area’s school supply distribution, donate these items:

  • Notebooks
  • Pens and pencils
  • Glue sticks
  • Erasers
  • Rulers
  • Backpacks


Acceptable donations for the Salvation Army also include vehicles. The vehicle's condition will impact whether it can be donated. The process may vary depending on your location, so contact your local Salvation Army branch to get specific information on how to donate your vehicle. Some vehicles you can donate include:

  • Cars
  • Boats
  • Motorcycles
  • RVs
  • Trucks
  • Vans

Not sure where to begin with decluttering? Check out our guide!

What Not to Donate to the Salvation Army

You now have some ideas about what to donate to the Salvation Army, but it's also important to know what not to donate. Don't try to donate damaged, dirty or rusted items, or those in poor condition. To make sure your donation fits with what helps the Salvation Army’s mission, it's a good idea to reach out to your nearby branch. In general, you can’t donate these items:

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“Each location has different regulations for items that cannot be donated. Some do not allow used blankets, mattresses, or stuffed animals for sanitary purposes. Generally, any soiled, damaged, or broken items will not be accepted. It is best to contact your local store to find what kind of donations they will take. You can find your closest location at https://satruck.org/
Bishop Wash, Public Relations Director | Salvation Army


While you can never throw hazardous waste in a dumpster rental, consider renting one for your damaged household items. You can take your time filling it up, and we'll take care of hauling everything away.

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How to Donate to the Salvation Army

Donating to the Salvation Army is a great way to help you declutter, but you might be wondering how to go about it.

1. Prepare Items for Donation

  1. Wash and inspect all items before donating them to ensure they're clean, in good condition and ready for use.
  2. Sort your items into categories and package them securely, making the donation process smoother for you and the Salvation Army staff.
  3. Label them appropriately and make note of fragile items to prevent breakage while handling them.
  4. Document the value of your items so you can claim a tax deduction on your donation.

2. Donate Your Goods

Donating to the Salvation Army is typically an easy process. There are a couple of ways to give your items.

Schedule Pick-Up Service

You can often schedule a pickup online or by contacting your local Salvation Army branch. They will have specific days and times available for pickup. On the scheduled day you choose, Salvation Army representatives will come to your location to pick up the donated items.

Drop Off Your Donations

Salvation Army drop-off locations vary by region. To find the nearest drop-off location where you can donate clothes to the Salvation Army or other goods, check out Salvation Army’s online zip finder or contact 1-800-SA-TRUCK.

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