Claim a Deduction for Your Donations

When you #donate a substantial amount of used goods such as clothing, housewares, furniture, books and other items to, you can claim a charitable deduction on your federal 1040 form if you itemize. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows taxpayers to deduct the fair market value for such goods — an estimate of what a buyer might pay for the used goods based on condition. will provide you with a receipt for your #donation upon pickup, but you must estimate the value of the goods donated according to IRS Form #8283 to take a deduction.

Donations Contribute to VVA’s Mission

This week, the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) proudly presents its 18th biennial convention in New Orleans, La. Held in conjunction with the Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America (AVVA), the convention will host as many as 900 veterans for five days of speakers, recognitions, planning and camaraderie.

The five-day event not only helps assist VVA in steering its nationwide activities, but also helps veterans and their families cope with the legacy of service and come together in support of one another. And the convention couldn’t be staged with the help of your generous donations to VVA and

We’re excited to welcome Charles Figley, a Vietnam veteran who is become an expert on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as the show’s keynote speaker. Acclaimed Native American actor Wes Saudi (Dances with Wolves) and author/environmentalist Doug Peacock (Grizzly Years: In Search of the American Wilderness) — both veterans — will also appear to collect VVA awards for Excellence in the Arts.

Paula Cinko, Rosie Gitlin and Jackie Chidsey — all veterans of Bob Hope’s tours to Vietnam — will entertain and reminisce. Veterans and their family members will be invited to share memories with Louisiana Public Broadcasting, as well as screen excerpts from the forthcoming 18-hour PBS documentary series, The Vietnam War.

VVA and the Veterans Administration will join for Veterans Benefits Claims Clinic during the show to help veterans get support, guidance and education related to pensions, education, employment and insurance. The convention will also feature a remembrance ceremony for POW/MIAs, and recognize the accomplishments of chapters and individuals.

Whether you donate lightly-used clothing and household goods to or donate directly, the proceeds help us provide job training and housing, protect veterans benefits, help individuals cope with problems such as PTSD and substance abuse, and much more.

The convention will forge treasured memories for hundreds of veterans and help VVA direct its efforts in the years ahead. VVA programs allow veterans to connect and build a sense of belonging long after the end of what was an unpopular war. The association couldn’t do it without your donations — and the nation’s veterans thank you for your support.

Make Your Garden Grow

Over the Easter holiday or spring break, you may have noticed that things have started to bloom. Trees are budding, and spring flowers are popping up from the ground. And now that the threat of a frost has finally passed for most locations in the United States, it’s time to plant a garden you can enjoy throughout the year.

First, you’ll need to spring-clean your yard and garden plots. Clip any dead foliage or withered tree branches, and rake the thatch from your lawn. Doing so gives new branches and shoots the room to grow and flourish, according to the EarthEasy sustainable living blog, and you need to clear a path before things can start to grow in earnest.

Then comes the fun part: planting seeds and seedlings. Depending on your space, climate and needs, you might plant containers for a balcony, a sculptured perennial garden that has new blooms every month, or a raised vegetable garden—or all of the above! Better Homes & Gardens offers a plan for virtually every situation, space and skill level.

If you’re new to gardening and on a budget, there’s no better place to shop than at the local thrift. Donations to include lightly-used trowels and other tools, decorative clay pots and containers, and other garden items. When they’re resold, the money goes toward helping fund veterans’ programs throughout the country.

Early spring is the best time to plant new trees and shrubs. It’s also a great time to see hardy flowers such as pansies, irises, daffodils, tulips and hydrangeas come up. If you missed the window to plant early-spring flowers, get summery perennials such as day lilies, black-eyed Susans and roses into the ground, and start preparing your pots for herbs and annuals.

If you want to eat fresh produce from your own victory garden (as many older veterans might remember their families doing during WWII), plant crops such as lettuce, spinach, radishes, carrots, raspberries and peas early in the season. RealFarmacy offers a zone-by-zone list of late-April garden to-dos that can help establish a productive vegetable garden.

As with spring cleaning, the keys to a good garden are organization and elbow grease. When you figure what you want your outdoor space to look like, it will be easy to make the time and space needed to plant and cultivate the flowers, shrubs and vegetables you want. Get started now, and you’ll be able to enjoy your garden all summer long.

Donations Should Be Somebody’s Treasure

One person’s trash is another’s treasure, as the saying goes—unless it’s just trash. When preparing charitable donations, “make sure what you donate is only clutter to you,” says Home Storage Solutions. “It defeats the purpose when we make a charity pay money to haul away our trash for us.” Turn ripped, torn and stained clothing into rags, and leave those damaged, broken and nonfunctioning appliances at the curb.

What Can I Donate?

Unsure of what you can and can’t donate to We pick up all kinds of clothing, shoes and accessories, in any size and for every age. Other items we pick up and resell to benefit veterans include kitchen and glassware; bedding, draperies and curtains; books, toys and bikes; electronics including stereo equipment and portable TVs; small furniture items and rugs; and more. Just make sure the items are clean and (re-)usable!