St. Vincent de Paul thrift stores bring joy this season

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -- As you get ready to make room for those Christmas gifts you might be wondering what you can and can't donate to charity. 

Each year the Society of St. Vincent de Paul helps 800,000 people in Cook and Lake counties with utility and rent payments, food assistance and more.  The money generated at their thrift shops makes it possible.

Clothing, furniture, home décor, toys and other goods are prepared for resale at their warehouse in Schiller Park

"It can get quite busy around here really quick," said Jim Lonergan, Society of St. Vincent de Paul Chicago CEO. "We go through each and every bag, and then it gets processed through."

But just because you have it, doesn't necessarily mean they want it.

Lonergan says they accept gently used clothing and home goods.  Items need to be in working order and they can’t take larger appliance, like ovens and refrigerators.

The items they need the most are men's and children's clothes as well as those shoes you've got lying around the house.  But rest assured nothing goes to waste.  Clothing that comes in stained or ripped is repurposed.

“Typically we will combine all those and put them through the recycling end of the market and get them out to the textile industry. So that they can be recycled into other clothing or furniture stuffing," said Lonergan.

The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul has three thrift store locations. You can find them in Chicago on South Western Avenue, Libertyville and Orland Park.

Donations can be dropped off at the stores, in drop boxes or picked up right from your home by appointment.

For more information on the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Chicago click here.

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