Spring Cleaning with Meaning

Our family is in the midst of a systematic scrub down of our home. I’m taking advantage of any rainy days to have the kids help with a tip to top Spring Cleaning, but this year, I want to teach my young ones about how we can use our abundance (of stuff) to give back to others in our community. Today, Niagara Families explores Spring Cleaning with Meaning as we show you how your gently used items can be re-purposed by charities in our region.

Pack Up Your Woolens

Does everyone have a giant box of winter woolens, yet they only wear the same hat and mittens all season? I have to hope our family isn’t exclusive in this weird mitten-hoarding practice. After two different moves, and with some rapidly growing munchkins, I’m finally looking to offload some of the warm stuff I know we’ll never wear.

Thanks to Twitter, I discovered Tyler’s Warmth, a charity started by a Niagara Region mom. Pam King began Tyler’s Warmth in 2007, only three months after losing her son Tyler who was struck by a train and killed while walking on the train tracks listening to his iPod. Tyler was known for his kindness and generosity, and he started a family tradition of buying winter clothing items to distribute to share warmth with those who need it most. Tyler’s Warmth takes year-round donations at several local businesses. You can find more details here.

Re Decorate

Our basement is rammed to the rafters with the contents of two households that have merged into one. Craigslist and Kiji can only take us so far, and let’s face it, none of us has time to list everything and maintain these listings. Cue the Niagara Furniture Bank, an incredible organization that supplies hundreds of Niagara Region families with everything they need to set up a home. This organization puts real meaning into the three r’s of eco-friendly living by helping all of us reduce, re-use, and recycle with such purpose. They even have a pick-up service available to schedule, so it’s incredibly convenient. Find out how to donate here.

Where Old Books Thrive

I love books, and so do my kids. You can imagine our library is a force to be reckoned with, but we do try to keep the book-love flowing by donating or swapping old books we won’t likely read again. My book-lover mind was utterly blown by my first ever Nova House Book Riot, earlier this month. Book Riot is in it’s 37th year, and it was easy to see why. The stadium-sized, four day used book extravaganza had an epic offering of books for readers of all ages. All proceeds from the event go to Women’s Place of South Niagara, a team of staff and volunteers helping women and children affected by abuse.

We had such a wonderful time, I’ve already started our boxes of donations for next year’s event. The volunteers were absolutely lovely, and everyone seemed proud and happy to be there. Donations of gentle used books can be made year-round. Find more details here.

I’m sure I haven’t covered all of the wonderful charities in the Niagara Region. Do you have any favourites you’d like to include? What are some of your spring cleaning rituals?

About Catherine Skinner 21 Articles
Catherine Skinner is a writer, entrepreneur and mom to three amazing kids.

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