Donation Guide

Donation Guide

The people I work with will tell you that — for better or worse — I hate to say “no” to good intentions.  Whenever someone comes to me with a good idea, a bold, new strategy, or a helpful resource, I often can’t resist.  In fact, I find that balancing our resources and capabilities with all the creative and potentially life-changing possibilities for those we serve can be hard.

In my first year at DESK, I learned that, when it comes to good ideas and helpful resources, we should try to say “yes.”  And when we do have have to say “no,” we should always say “no, but . . .”

DESK relies heavily on community support in a variety of ways.  As a result, we get a lot of well-intentioned offers for help.  Sometimes, those offers just don’t quite fit.  That’s why I was very excited in 2019 when Elaine Piraino-Holevoet put together, with support from RecycleCT and Home Haven Villages, the first Downsizing Donation Guide for New Haven.  This is handy resource to help people who are looking to donate their gently used items to community organizations like DESK.

How to Donate Your Stuff

Step 1: Check DESK’s website!  Go go to to find lists of food, toiletries, clothes, and other items we regularly need.  If your item is on there, email us at  If you’re item isn’t on there, but you really think we might want it, just email us and ask!

Step 2: Check out the Downsizing Donation Guide.  You can peruse the table of contents, or just search the whole document (CTRL+F for PC-users).

Step 3: Still can’t find a place to donate?  Let us know.  DESK works with dozens of organizations and community groups across Greater New Haven; we’ve got a great network.  We’re always eager to make a good match . . . and equally eager to trade out that “no” for a “no, but.”