Friday, October 31, 2008
Do you have piles of magazines (or even just a few) that could use a new home? Of course, you can recycle your old magazines, but if you'd rather see them get some more use, here are some options.
Reminder: When offering a donation, please check with the organization first to understand its needs. You want to be helpful, and items that can't be used are a burden, not a help.
1. Give them to family or friends who would appreciate them - if you're sure they would appreciate them.
2. Offer them to your local community members on Freecycle - and craigslist might work, too.
The day after I posted this, a member of my local Freecycle group offered 21 science magazines (Science News, New Scientist); they were taken in less than five hours.
3. Donate them to your local library. Each library will have its own policy about which magazines it accepts; here are some such policies:
- Susquehanna County Library.
- Sedona Public Library.
- Metropolitan Library System, Oklahoma.
- Greater Victoria Public Library.
4. Donate them to local prison library programs. For example, there's the Jail Library Group.
5. Donate them to hospitals and clinics; here's an example of one hospital that certainly wants magazines. Over on Metafilter, toastedbeagle makes a special plea for donating your magazines to VA hospitals: "If they aren't too old, please donate them to the nearest Veteran's Association clinic or hospital. They have no budget for waiting room magazines. Our nation's veterans sit and look at pharmacy sales materials while they wait for care."
6. Donate them to homeless or domestic violence shelters.
7. Donate them to organizations that send them overseas, such as Bridge to Asia. National Geographic provides a list of such places that want National Geographic, specifically - but they may want other similar-quality magazines, too.
8. For magazines with lots of pictures, donate them to art teachers or any program doing art projects. In San Francisco, SCRAP (Scroungers Center for Reusable Art Parts) is glad to receive National Geographic and Smithsonian magazines. [Thanks to organizer Carol Thistlethwaite for that bit of news.]
9. Drop them off any place with an under-supplied waiting room, such as an auto repair shop.
If you feel inspired, you might want to start a community program for collecting and donating magazines; Magazine Literacy provides some guidance and inspiration, especially related to magazines for children. [via Cupcake Life]
Letting Go of the Magazines
10 Ways to Find New Homes for Your Books
[photo by patterbt - 15+ years worth of National Geographic magazines that he got on Freecycle]