This post was last updated on January 1, 2023
You may currently find yourself going through all of your items with the plan to donate your used household goods and clothing. With the popularity of shows such as Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and Get Organized with The Home Edit, many of us have found ourselves standing in front of closets wondering what is going to spark joy or how we organize everything into bins.
Did you know that there are several places in Rochester that are eager to accept your donated items? Many of these organizations provide critical programs and services for the city of Rochester and surrounding areas. While Goodwill and Savers serve their helpful place in our community, perhaps you might consider another one of these organizations as you’re preparing to donate your items.
Before we get started on our list, a few gentle reminders of donation etiquette:
- Please donate only new, like-new, or gently-used clothing. If it is dirty, soiled, worn, or has holes please throw it away.*
- Donate only working electronics and appliances. Throw away anything that is broken or non-functioning.
- Please ensure that an organization is accepting whatever it is you’d like to donate. Call to coordinate if you are donating a large or unusual item.
- Please wash and fold your items and organize to the best of your ability prior to donating.
*some organizations may take dirty, worn clothing and textiles. Salvation Army is an example. Call to confirm before dropping off your donations.
13 Alternative Places to Donate Items in Rochester MN
Family Promise Rochester provides shelter, meals and comprehensive assistance to homeless families in the Rochester, Minnesota area. Their mission is to help homeless and low-income families achieve sustainable independence through a community-based response. Family Promise Rochester has limited storage space so please refer to their needed donations page before calling to coordinate a drop-off.
Women’s Shelter and Support Center
The Rochester MN Women’s Shelter and Support Center provides outreach, advocacy, and housing to abused women, individuals, and families. While not always accepting donations, you can check their website for up-to-date information about what items are currently needed. Please call to coordinate your donation.
They Landing aims to provide support, guidance, and a shoulder to lean on to those facing homelessness within our community. They help to navigate available resources; from housing and clothing, to meals and medical care, The Landing MN, Inc. works to help these individuals make positive steps forward. Items are always needed. Please check their needs page to find out more and to coordinate a donation.
Rochester Community Warming Center
The Rochester Community Warming Center (RCWC) provides emergency shelter for Rochester area homeless adults, 18 and older, during the winter months. Each individual served at the RCWC has a safe and warm place to sleep, access to a shower, laundry facilities, healthy snacks and beverages, fellowship, and referrals for additional help and assistance. The needs list is always changing, so please reference their page for more information on how to give.
Rochester MN Area Schools
The Rochester Alternative Learning Center (a Rochester public high school) has a clothing shelf for students that are struggling or are in shelter transition. This high school provides educational opportunities for students in special circumstances. Night School and a Recovery Program are just a handful of the programs they offer. They take any size clothing and are especially in need of socks. Please call ahead to coordinate your donation.
Other schools that take clothing donations are listed below. Call the main office at each school to coordinate your drop-offs.
Many Rochester public elementary schools also have community closets. For contact information please check each school’s website.
Olmsted County Foster Care Closet
Olmsted County Foster Care Closet is a public Facebook group run by two local Rochester, MN residents. Requests are channeled through the Facebook group to help fill immediate needs. Children’s clothing, furniture, supplies, toys, and more are always accepted and always need by foster care families in Rochester MN. Join the Facebook group to determine if donations are currently being accepted and contact the admin to coordinate a drop-off.
The Workforce Center serves thousands of people through career planning and pre-vocational skill training. One area of focus is working with populations dealing with multiple barriers to achieving meaningful employment. The Workforce Center accepts donations of professional clothing to help applicants look and feel their best when going to job interviews. Please call ahead to coordinate your donation.
Thrift on 5th sells children and adult clothing for under $1 per item. There is no limit to how you can buy and the store includes a “free” section, for those in need who are unable to pay. All profits from the store go towards scholarships at Thrive Childcare & Family Resource Center. Gently used clothing donations (in-season preferred) are accepted at the store.
While the two Salvation Army family stores have closed in Rochester, MN. From time to time, they will post about needs they have for individuals facing homelessness or crisis in Rochester. Follow their facebook page for more information and to receive notices of items needed.
The Dorothy Day Hospitality House is a temporary homeless shelter conveniently located in downtown Rochester, MN within walking distance to Mayo Clinic, buses, and community resources. Dorothy Day is always in need of adult clothing – especially winter clothes and other gear. In addition to these items, they also accept household supplies and baked good. Please check their page for more information and to coordinate a drop-off.
Habitat for Humanity ReStore welcomes modern to vintage decor, furniture, appliances, building materials, books, and toys. It is also an ideal location to donate any remodeling materials (including paint). Prices are affordable and all profits help build a home for a Rochester, MN are family.
The Yellow Monkey is a non-profit donation based shop selling repurposed furniture, home goods, and accessories. What sets Yellow Monkey apart is that it’s also a place for young adults with disabilities to work and learn new skills. Individuals from ABC (Ability Building Center) volunteer their time several days a week. Due to Covid-19, please check store hours before stopping as they change weekly.
Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge
MNTC’s mission is to assist men, women, and teens in gaining freedom from chemical addictions and other life controlling problems by addressing their whole person needs. Residential programs allow for ongoing treatment and recovery in a supportive environment. Please call to find out what items are currently needed.
Great article on other places to donate in Rochester. Another hidden secret too many Rochesterites is the Habitat for Humanity ReStore Store. This donation site welcomes modern to vintage decor, furniture, appliances, building materials, books, and toys! It is an ideal location to donate any remodeling materials, also! Prices are very affordable and all profits help build a home for a Rochester family. One can shop, donate, and/or volunteer at ReStore!
Thank you! We’ve added this to our list.
Dorothy Day was not taking clothes and referred guests to Salvation Army. MN Adult and Teen Challenge is another great option for men’s and women’s clothing and also games.
Why did Salvation Army close? And will it reopen? I really feel that we need the Salvation Army. They not only fulfilled a need here, but they sent things to other places.
Thanks for including Pine Island High School in your locations for donations. Our room is quite small, so minimal clothing is accepted as we don’t have room to store it. However, sweatpants, black leggings, hoodies and other gently used athletic apparel are the most common articles taken by our high school students. Thanks in advance!
Next Chapter accepts furniture in good condition, too.
Thanks for the other good ideas!
A great place to also earn cash back for items – or donations are gladly accepted – is The Children’s Exchange of Rochester! A great family owned business that has been serving Rochester since 1986.
Rather than throwing clothes away, they can be recycled. There are several USAgain green bins around the city. If the clothes are usable, they will be used, if they are too old and tattered, they will be recycled. Large volumes of thrown out shoes, clothes, etc. filler landfills. Please don’t throw away old clothes.
Thank you so much for this list. I have used it a few times in the past month. I have also forwarded it to so many people in Rochester who are looking for somewhere to donate things but don’t know where to make that donation. Thank you thank you thank you!
We’re glad you’ve found the list helpful. Thanks so much for your encouragement and feedback.
Another place to donate, I have recently learned about, is called Home Again. They can even come to you and pick up your gently used items. You can see a list of their donation needs and check out their website homeagainmn.org.
I would also like to see places for recycling and location of the bins mentioned. I believe Best Buy will accept some electronics and of course the recycling center for a fee!! I have heard of those who pick up “Junk”?? Would like to get some cleaning out of closets accomplished.