GiveNKind provides unused essential products to Chicago-area nonprofits

A Buffalo Grove nonprofit is taking everything businesses can't use and sharing the wealth with other Illinois nonprofits. 

The idea was concocted by a high school music teacher who, oddly enough, needed a lawn mower for a service project, but couldn't find one cheap enough. 

"These are goods that are just in the wrong place at the wrong time and instead we take them in, sort them, and make them available to charities across the Chicagoland area," GiveNKind founder and executive director Emily Petway said. "We really try to liken ourselves to a logistics company for nonprofits."   

For years, the nonprofit has taken excess items from corporations and businesses and upcycled them to other nonprofits. 

"GiveNKind solely takes in brand-new goods so these are donations from companies like Blistex, Walgreens, Vessie, Dicks Sporting Goods," said Petway.  

Last year alone, GiveNKind donated $10 million worth of items to more than 550 Illinois nonprofits. They are items like personal care products, clothing and home goods. 

"We've been able to provide giveaways to community members who have breast cancer, community members who needed diapers or who needed household items," said Andrea Whitsitt.  

She is a coordinator with the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago who has worked with GiveNKind to get the items the YWCA needs for eight years.  

"We have items that maybe would have ended up in the trash or somewhere in a warehouse, but they're here and we're giving them another purpose," said Whitsitt.

Nonprofits pay a small administrative fee to receive the goods, then they can browse a catalogue of what's available and pick it up or get it delivered.  

"We've had community members with absolutely nothing, [by donating] a baby crib to extra food, GiveNKind has been able to help us," Whitsitt said.  

If your business has extra stuff to donate, or if you run a nonprofit in need of donations, you can go to to learn more.