Yesterday, a friend shared a great idea for giving back with me (thanks, Donna!) and I loved it so much that I wanted to share it with all of you as well.

With the holidays comes lots of shopping and with that shopping comes lots of boxes. But what do you do with those boxes, besides break them down and throw them into the recycling bin? (Or in the case of our four-year-old boy, use them to make forts, rocket ships and sleds? Incidentally, while we’re on the topic, my son asked me if he could ask Santa for a big box next Christmas. But I digress … )

Well, this site offers a fantastic solution for putting those boxes to great use to help others.

Give Back Box is an organization that helps make giving back as easy as possible.

According to their website, Give Back Box gives “each and every cardboard box a second life to help people in need. So it is also a ‘green’ solution! Reuse your online shipping boxes in which you received your purchases, or any other cardboard box you may have, to donate your unwanted household items: such as gently used clothing, shoes etc., to make a major difference in the life of another person.”

RELATED: How You Can Help During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Give Back Box has partnered with a number of retailers including Amazon, Overstock, Nordstrom and Away. When you purchase something from any of these stores, you can use the box to donate items to charitable organizations. For instance, if you buy a new Away suitcase, you can use the box to donate your old one. But really, you can donate using any box you have lying around the house so making a purchase from a partner retailer isn’t a requirement.

When you log on to Give Back Box, you can choose from 61 different charities (for example The Salvation Army, Goodwill, Big Brothers and Sisters and many others) and click the link to find out what kind of items they need donated and to purchase a shipping label for $15. If you don’t have a printer, you can have a label mailed to you.

Once you’ve packed up your box with your items, you can mail it or have it picked up from your house (all the details are on their website).

I love this idea of making charitable donations easy, especially during a pandemic. I’ve minimized my every move and don’t leave home unless it’s essential so right now especially, it’s amazing to be able to do this from home. Additionally, the pandemic has caused difficult times for so many people so there’s great need all around us and even in our own communities. Donations are needed now more than ever.

And of course, there’s also the added benefit of reusing those shipping boxes we’ve all got around the house and giving them a secondary purpose. According to The Give Back Box website: “Approximately 100 billion boxes are manufactured every year in the USA. Over 95% of all products in the U.S. are shipped in cardboard boxes. If stacked end to end they could wrap around the Earth 570 times! The world now consumes about 80 billion new pieces of clothing every year. The single best thing we can do for the planet is consume less and reuse more.”

Because of our two little ones, we always have lots of things to donate. For instance, over the holidays, we edit our kids’ toy collection to find the things they no longer play with so we can donate them and make room for the toys Santa brings. And of course, there’s always the baby things they no longer need, the clothes they’re constantly outgrowing, and the books they’ve gotten too big for. This is a wonderful way to make sure that the items that have served us so well continue to serve others in need.


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