As is often the case in Chicago, parking regulations that fluctuate with the seasons often serve as our cue that it's time for a change. With the launch of Chicago's fleet of street cleaners this week comes the not-so-subtle hint that it may soon be time for spring cleaning indoors, too. While simplifying your space can make a big difference in your own well-being, it's easy to make choices with the clothing, food, and other goods you're downsizing that will have a big impact on the community.
So as you gear up for some minor (or major) home life renovations, consider some of these vital Chicago nonprofits where your used belongings can do the most good.
Beneficiaries: Chicago's homeless and individuals and families at risk of losing their homes
Location: 1458 Chicago Ave., Evanston
The Brown Elephant
Beneficiaries: The Howard Brown Health Center, which provides services for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people who are uninsured or underinsured
Locations: 3651 N. Halsted St., 5404 N. Clark St., 217 Harrison St., Oak Park
Beneficiaries: Avid and aspiring readers.
Location: Open Books
213 W. Institute Pl., Ste 207, Chicago
Bridge to Success
Beneficiaries: At-risk, low-income, no-income men, women, and young adults seeking employment
Location: 3425 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago
The White Elephant
Beneficiary: Children's Memorial Hospital
Location: 2380 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago
Beneficiaries: Start-up companies and struggling small businesses
Location: 321 N. Clark St. Ste. 2550, Chicago
World Computer Exchange
Beneficiaries: Youth in developing countries
Location: 11118 S. Rockwell, Chicago
Shelf-Stable or Non-Perishable Food:
The Greater Chicago Food Depository
Beneficiaries: Chicagoans experiencing food insecurity
Location: 4100 West Ann Lurie Place, Chicago
Supplies for Dreams
Beneficiaries: Chicago Public School students
Beneficiaries: Children with hearing loss
Location: 180 Hansen Ct., Wood Dale
Girls In The Game
Beneficiaries: Chicago girls and young women
Location: 1501 W. Randolph St., Chicago
Out with the old, in with the new? We understand if you need to make a buck on your old stuff. Here's where to sell it.
CDs, Records and DVDs:
Locations: 3126 N. Broadway, 1532 N Milwaukee, 26 E. Madison, Chicago
Crossroads Trading Co.
Locations: 2711 North Clark St., 1519 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, 1730 Sherman Ave., Evanston
Locations: 1564 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
Any deserving organizations we missed? Tell us in the comments.