Looking for a good place to donate your time, money, or used items in Las Vegas? While there are a plethora of charitable organizations in Southern Nevada, I recommend the following nonprofits based on personal experience:
Best Nonprofits for Donating Used Clothing, Household Goods, and Furniture
Goodwill of Southern Nevada “provides education, employment and training for people with disabilities and other special needs to maximize the quality of life for each individual served.” With over 25 donation centers and stores located throughout the Las Vegas Valley, Goodwill offers an unparalleled convenience that makes donations easy. They will accept almost anything from used clothing to electronics to furniture. In some cases, they may be willing to pick up heavy furniture from your home by calling the Donor Hotline at 702-214-2059. For a complete list of accepted donations, visit their website.
James Seastrand Helping Hands of North Las Vegas has a mission “to assist the frail elderly in our area by providing a variety of services which foster independence and enables them to remain in their own homes rather than be institutionalized.” The organization is continually in need of toilet paper, napkins, paper towels, and facial tissue to distribute to 1000 senior citizens each month. Donations may be dropped off at the James Seastrand office located at 3432 Bruce St., Suite #7 between the hours of 9:00am to 2:00pm Monday through Friday.
Best Nonprofit for Donating Your Vehicle
Safe Nest strives “to be the leading advocate in promoting the eradication of domestic violence by providing confidential assistance including shelter, food, clothing, counseling, education and other services to individuals experiencing domestic violence, while maintaining the highest respect and dignity for our clients.” I donated a car to Safe Nest several years ago, and they picked it up in four hours, handled all the paperwork, and sent me the tax documentation within a week. They also accept boats and motorhomes. Call 702-203-8661 to schedule a pickup.
Best Nonprofit for Donating Appliances or Building Materials
Habitat for Humanity Las Vegas “builds single family homes throughout Clark County for working families earning less than 80% of Area Median Income.” Qualifying families are expected to help build their home in order to qualify. The non-profit has two Restores that accept donations of large appliances, tools, home construction materials, and large pieces of furniture. They then sell these donations at garage sale prices to the public. Restores are located at 1401 N. Decatur Boulevard #35 and 3455 E. Flamingo Road. Donation may also be picked up by visiting their website or calling 702-638-6477 ext. 13 or 702-638-7736.
Best Nonprofit for Donating Food
Three Square Food Bank provides “a central location where donated and rescued food can be collected and distributed.” The organization distributes bakery, produce, dairy, non-perishable products and ready-to-eat meals to other non-profit and faith-based organizations. They also help to combat hunger by facilitating childhood and senior nutrition programs. Located at 4190 N. Pecos Road, Three Square Food Bank accepts donations of canned goods, dried goods, and non-food items such as diapers, toiletries, and disposable utensils. Call Erica Thompson at 702-644-3663 ext. 317 to schedule a donation.
Best Nonprofits for Group and Family Volunteers
Three Square Food Bank is also the ideal place for school organizations, clubs, alumni groups, and professional organizations looking for community outreach opportunities. Dubbed “The Best Volunteer Organization” by the Las Vegas Weekly in 2009, Three Square Food Bank accepts groups of up to 40 volunteers to help them sort and repackage food. Shifts typically last from 2-4 hours, and volunteers must be at least 10 years old (parents are asked to sign a release form). To schedule your group volunteer date, contact Volunteer Coordinator Patti Johnson at 702 644-FOOD (3663) ext 355.
Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada provides “services to sustain the human dignity of all persons, fostering social justice, and calling on others to do the same.” They run one of the largest food service operations in Las Vegas at their St. Vincent Lied Dining Facility and through the Meals on Wheels program. Catholic Charities also offers a multitude of other social services, including employment services, immigration and refugee services, child adoption services, senior services, and residential services for the homeless. While minimum age requirement for most of their volunteer opportunities is 10 years old, there are some activities that are suitable for all ages. A list of all volunteer opportunities can be found on their website.
Best Nonprofits for Individual Volunteers
The American Red Cross of Southern Nevada lists their mission is to “provide relief to victims of disasters and help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies.” The chapter’s specific services include health and safety training, disaster response, services to the armed forces, international services, and lifeguarding and swim lessons. As a current volunteer, I enjoy flexible scheduling and have had many opportunities to develop both personally and professionally. Whether I’m at a fundraiser, completing clerical work, participating in a Health & Safety course, or responding to a disaster, I know in some small way I’m making an impact in people’s lives. Visit the chapter website for a list of current volunteer opportunities.
Opportunity Village “serves people with intellectual disabilities by providing them with vocational training, employment and social recreation services that make their lives more productive and interesting.” This organization holds a special place in my heart because of the clients they serve. In my time volunteering at social events and at their work center, I truly came to understand that everyone has a purpose on this earth and can contribute something to society. It was in spending time with Opportunity Village clients that I learned skills in patience, understanding, communication, and appreciation that in turn made me a better employee and leader. Opportunity Village has three campuses, and thus needs several volunteers. To fill out a volunteer application, visit their website.
Best Nonprofit to Volunteer for Busy Professionals
A.O.K – Acts of Kindness is a Las Vegas Meetup group that was founded in September 2007 with the idea to help its members help others. According to their website, “Our organizers work very hard to work with local charities and the community to come up with fun events. Our events have a wide range of impact from feeding the homeless to cleaning up Lake Mead. There is always something new for you to try.”
A friend of mine introduced me to this group, which currently has over 1200 members. Organizers post events to a calendar and members RSVP to those they wish to attend. Because there is no commitment to a set schedule or number of hours, this is an ideal volunteer opportunity for anyone who has limited time or ever-changing schedules.
To learn more about volunteering in Las Vegas, click here.
For more information on overall volunteer services of the American Red Cross, click here.
To find out about other volunteer opportunities in your area, visit VolunteerMatch or Meetup.com.
Your Donation Saves Lives, Goodwill of Southern Nevada
Gwen Navarrete, James Seastrand Helping Hands of North Las Vegas assists low-income seniors, Examiner.com
Donate useable goods and vehicles, Safe Nest
Make a Donation, Habitat for Humanity Las Vegas
Donate Food, Three Square Food Bank
Volunteer, Three Square Food Bank
Programs of Social Service, Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada
Volunteer Opportunities, Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada
Volunteer, American Red Cross of Southern Nevada
Volunteer Opportunities, Opportunity Village
About A.O.K. – Acts of Kindness, Meetup.com
Gwen Navarrete, Where to Volunteer for Christmas in Las Vegas, Associated Content
Gwen Navarrete, Volunteer Services at the Red Cross, Associated Content
Home Page, VolunteerMatch
Find a Meetup Group, Meetup.com