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Being smarter in 2020: From trash to treasure

Being smarter in 2020: From trash to treasure

From the May's Tucson-area coronavirus coverage: Cases rise, judge rules that state can keep nursing home data from public series

Clothes and many household items are available at the Free Store, which is located at 4650 N. Flowing Wells Road.

Have you cleaned out a closet or two while sheltering in place? Have you cleaned out the garage as well?

That means now you have a pile of clothes, unused but working appliances, or furniture that needs a new home and you could use a tax deduction for your hard work.

There is no shortage of nonprofit organizations that can resell your donations at thrift stores. And these thrift stores could use your shopping dollars now that they are beginning to open up again. Keep in mind when you are shopping that stores may be limiting the number of customers at any one time. It never hurts to call first to avoid surprises.

Here is a list of places that will find someone who considers your cast offs to be just what they need:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Arizona

520-624-7039 or schedule a pickup at Pickups will begin again on June 15, but can be scheduled now.

Donated items are sold at Savers stores and are tax deductible.

Tucson Free Store

4650 N. Flowing Wells Road (new location)


Drop off times: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday

This unique store offers everything for free. That’s right, you won’t need money. Donations are sorted and made available in the store for all takers 8 a.m.-noon Saturdays.

Donations are tax deductible. If you have a lot of items to donate, the people at the Free Store can pick them up, but they charge a fee of $50, so it’s only a bargain if you have a lot.

The Free Store has contacts they use when such items as beds, dressers and other household furniture are donated so they can help displaced veterans and others who are in need.

Goodwill of Southern Arizona Thrift Stores


There are many locations. Go to for the nearest place to shop and go to for the closest drop-off location.

Many stores have been closed because of COVID-19. The website will show which are open.

Donations are tax deductible, but Goodwill no longer picks up donations.

Humane Society of Southern Arizona Thrift Store

5311 E. Speedway


Hours for donation and shopping: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays

Donations are tax deductible but there is no pickup service.

InJoy Thrift Store

250 N. Pantano Road


Donation hours: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays

Shopping hours: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 9 a.m.-noon Sundays

Donations are tax deductible and support Christian-based ministries. Pickups can be scheduled.

Salvation Army Family Stores

800-SA-TRUCK or 800-728-7825 or

There are several thrift stores. Check the website for the nearest to you and to see what is open during the pandemic.

Donations are tax deductible and you can schedule a pickup. To save the Salvation Army a little money, call for the best place to drop off items if you only have a few things.

There are many other nonprofit organizations that operate thrift stores.

Casa de los Niños at 1302 E. Prince Road, 520-325-2573, has a store that has been closed because of COVID-19 and many veterans groups have stores.

An online search will yield many thrift stores that will accept donations.

So enjoy the extra space in your closets and help others.

UPDATE May 19, 2020:

St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Stores also take donations and are opening this week and next. The store at 5426 E. Pima St., 520-323-0734, opened Monday, and the store at 820 S. Sixth Ave., 520-622-2821, will open Tuesday, May 26, 2020. Go to to learn more.

Contact Johanna Eubank at

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Online producer

Johanna Eubank is a digital producer for the Arizona Daily Star and She has been with the Star in various capacities since 1991.

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