Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs

Where can I drop off my donations?

Second Chances has outdoor donation bins and occasional public clothing drives. Click here to find a donation location. If we’re having a public clothing drive, you can also drop off there. When we have them, public clothing drives are listed here.

What items do you accept?

Men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing, shoes, and wearable accessories like costume jewelry, scarves, and bags. Please see our list of accepted items, here.

What items are needed most?

The most needed items that we have the greatest difficulty getting for clients are men’s clothing of all types, larger sizes of women’s clothing, and shoes for both men and women. Our clients need clothing for all kinds of activities including work, casual and dressy events, sports, and more.

Will my donations get used by clients?

The best clothing of all types goes to our clients. A donation is most likely to go to a client if it is something you would proudly give to a friend or relative. Good donations are new or gently used, in complete working condition (with no missing buttons, broken zippers, and without tears, stains, or visible wear or damage). Donations should be free from strong odors like perfume, smoke, mothballs, or mustiness, and never wet.

What happens to clothing that is not used by clients?

We recycle or sell (wholesale) what our clients are not able to use, and all proceeds support our clothing program, so that we can continue to provide free clothing to homeless and low-income people in our community.

Will you pick up my donations?

We often can pick up donations if your company or organization is hosting a clothing drive for Second Chances and collects at least 350 pounds (that’s about 35 medium-sized bags) and is within a 30-minute drive from our Cambridge warehouse. We offer weekday pickups and appreciate you getting in touch with us in advance of your clothing drive, especially if you think you’d like a pickup.

We do not have the capacity to pick up donations at individual homes.

If you do not meet the guidelines for pick up, we appreciate you dropping the clothing you collect at any of our donation locations. You can find the nearest one here.

Is my donation tax-deductible? How do I document it to get the deduction?

Second Chances is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and all donations are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

For donated funds, if you provide us with a mailing or email address when you donate, we will send you an acknowledgement letter.

For contributions of clothing, shoes, accessories, and other in-kind donations, you must keep an inventory of what you're donating, including the type, condition, and quantity of the items in your donation. Because we can't assess every donation, we're not able to provide receipts for donations at clothing drives or donation bins, but the IRS recognizes this and generally accepts your own detailed inventory of your contribution. For more information on the tax-deductibility of clothing donations and the documentation requirements, please see IRS publications 526 and 561, or consult with a tax professional.

Can I volunteer?

Second Chances depends on lots of self-motivated, creative, dependable volunteers and we're so grateful for the help! We have many opportunities to volunteer your time and skills:

  • Help out at an event
  • Host a clothing drive at home, work, or through a club or congregation
  • Pick up clothing donations (just once or several times a year)
  • Clear clothing from attics and basements
  • Provide occasional legal, accounting, marketing, or other advice
  • Help with marketing and outreach
  • Photograph events
  • Help with a mailing or other administrative tasks
  • Serve on a committee

Please fill out our contact form and let us know how you’d like to help!

Sign up for our
e-newsletter



Office Clothing Drive

Thanks to the terrific people at White & Case LLP's Boston office for hosting a clothing drive and supporting people in need in our community! We're so grateful for your compassion and generosity.

Clothing recipient

Your donations provide empowering clothing and second chances for clients at this group home in Cambridge and other local programs serving homeless and low-income community members.