This holiday season, chances are you’ve purchased something online from Amazon or some other e-Commerce site. That means you have cardboard boxes that have been piling up in your recyclables bin or being used to store knick-knacks.
Chances are you’ve also got some things in your home that you could stand to get rid of. Whether it’s old children’s toys or clothes that you don’t wear anymore, or even blankets or a coffee maker that just collects dust.
This year, you can do something about both things in one fell swoop. GiveBackBox.com is pairing up with Goodwill and numerous online retailers to allow you to donate items without ever leaving your house. That’s right, you don’t have to put on pants. Here’s how it works.
First, you take the stuff you ordered from Amazon, Newegg, or any number of retailers, out of the box. Then you put the stuff you want to donate into the box. You tape it up, then go to GiveBackBox.com and print up a mailing label. You call UPS or the USPS for a pickup and leave the box outside with the shipping label attached. They come and pick it up and it gets sent to the closest Goodwill store that is participating in the program.
Of course there are some caveats. First, you can’t ship any liquids. Ammunition is also a no-no. Don’t ship anything fragile, hazardous, or volatile either. You also can’t ship electronics this way. But anything else is fair game. Clothes, records, old toys, silverware, pots and pans, whatever you’re looking to get rid of that you think Goodwill could sell, pack it in a box and send it. There’s no weight limit to what you can send and there are no limits to the number of labels that you can print out.
If you’re concerned about getting a receipt for your charitable donations, that’s a simple matter as well. You do need to create an account on the Give Back Box website, but that is also easy to do. Once you do that, the ability to get receipts for all of your donations is easy. You can itemize all of the items you’re sending in each box. Once you’ve mailed the items, the receipt is available online. You’ll even get notification that the item has been received and processed by Goodwill.
Keep in mind that Amazon is not the only retailer participating in this. Asics, Ann Taylor, Overstock, REI, Bon-Ton, and Newegg are just a few of the numerous retailers that are participating in this endeavor. But don’t worry if you don’t have a box from one of these retailers. Give Back Box will let you use any box that’s suitable for shipping.
Give Back Box started when the founder Monika Wiela was walking in Chicago near her home on Michigan Avenue. Wiela runs a shoe company, so when she saw a homeless man holding up a sign that said, “I need shoes!” she felt a particular responsibility. When she came back later with a pair of shoes for him, he was nowhere to be found.
She started the idea and managed to partner up with Newegg in 2015, who included a prepaid mailing label with the boxes they sent out. She approached Amazon, and Amazon loved the idea, but the logistics of dealing with the over 4 million boxes that Amazon ships every day was a little daunting.
The solution then was to set up the infrastructure that allows end users to print their own mailing labels. Give Back Box allows shipping from every state in the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. They plan to expand to Canada in the near future.
It’s important to note that Give Back Box is not a charity, so they don’t solicit donations. They simply facilitate the donation procedure to various 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations.
The website to sign up and print labels is found here at GiveBackBox.com.
[Featured Image by Dziobek/Shutterstock]