12 Places in Wisconsin to Donate  Clothes, Shoes, and More That Aren’t Goodwill

Credit: St. Vincent de Paul

By Christina Lorey

April 5, 2023

A guide to making the biggest difference with your donation in the Badger State and beyond.

Still have a bag filled with the remnants of spring cleaning in the trunk of your car? While there’s nothing inherently wrong with giving to Goodwill, your clothes (and other clutter) can often make a greater impact somewhere else.

We compiled a list of organizations around Wisconsin, as well as a handful of national nonprofits with a local presence, that make great places to give because they also give back.

Unwanted Clothes?

  • Becca’s Closet: With the goal of “turning dresses into dreams,” the group gives new and gently used prom dresses to teens who otherwise can’t afford to attend the biggest dance of the school year. The organization has “closets” in 23 states, including two in Wisconsin: Reedsburg and Beloit. Click here to find your nearest location.
  • Chosen Family Closet: This Waukesha-based non-profit collects gently used baby and children’s clothes to give to families that foster or adopt. It also accepts furniture and toys.
  • Homeless Shelters: An estimated 4,500 people experience homelessness every day in Wisconsin. Socks and underwear are two of the most in-need items at local shelters. Consider donating extra, unopened packs, as well as menstrual care products, which are also in high demand. Click here to find a shelter near you.
  • LGBTQ+ Centers: With several options in most communities (click here to find yours), these centers provide free clothes and a safe environment for members of the LGBTQ+ community. Professional clothing is usually in high-demand.

Gently Used Shoes?

Well-Used Shoes?


  • Books to Prisoners: This Wisconsin-based nonprofit’s goal is to encourage the pursuit of knowledge and self-betterment to help break the cycle of recidivism. Thesauruses, almanacs, occupational guides, and fiction books are among the most-requested reads.


  • The Guest House: This Milwaukee nonprofit addresses all aspects of homelessness and serves more than 1,500 people every year. Currently, they don’t need clothes, but do need puzzle books, adult coloring books, and art supplies. 


  • Dane Need: This partnership between the Dane County Department of Human Services and the United Way connects nonprofits with people who need help. Many organizations, including the Salvation Army, offer furniture donation pickup right at your doorstep. Click here for more information.
  • Habitat for Humanity ReStore: As part of Habitat for Humanity’s efforts to support affordable housing, its ReStore locations sell appliances, furniture, and home goods that are still in good condition to raise money for its mission. Plus, it has more than a dozen locations across the state. Click here to find one near you.

Home Essentials?

Animal Shelters: Shelters and organizations like the Wisconsin Humane Society need towels, wash cloths, hand towels, sheets, pillowcases, and blankets to keep rescued animals warm. Check with your local center to see what donations they’re accepting right now.


  • Christina Lorey

    Christina is an Edward R. Murrow-winning journalist and former producer, reporter, and anchor for TV stations in Madison and Moline. When she’s not writing or asking questions, you can find her volunteering with Girls on the Run, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and various mental health organizations.

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