It’s Not About The Money… Donate Used Items in Spain
Although Money Saver Spain is all about how to pay less, sometimes it’s worth taking a look at ways to give back, either directly or indirectly, to society. It’s always a good idea to make sure that when you donate items they’ll actually go to a good cause and not just to line someone’s pocket, see our tips below.
Clothes and Footwear
Rather than sell used clothes, why not donate them (footwear and bedding too). You can deposit items in one of the Humana containers, which can be found in streets across Spain.
Humana sells donated clothes in their secondhand stores and profits go to a number of programmes they work with. Clothing that is not in good condition will be sold as rags, once again with profits being put to a good cause.
Humana has a licence to place their containers in the street, as do some other organisations. Beware of containers that appear legitimate but have, in fact, been placed by bogus companies. This sometimes happens on private land too. In case of doubt check with your local Ayuntamiento who will remove illegal containers.
Mobile Phones, Computers and Gadgets
The Spanish Red Cross will accept used mobiles. Print out a label and post for free here. There are other companies that will accept used computers such as TESO in Valencia, or see the list of similar not-for-profits in other Spanish towns.
When you donate your phone or computer ensure you delete all data on the hard drive.
Furniture & Household Appliances
Be careful when you give away any appliances to ensure that they won’t be dumped once the valuable parts have been removed. Companies cannot use local Punto Limpio (municipal collection and recycling points), so ask what they intend to do.
Most towns and cities have associations that will pick up your old furniture and appliances for free. Items are then restored and sold with profits going to charities. Google “Recogida muebles (your location)” to find a local association.
Toys & Bikes
In Nov/Dec many Ayuntamientos will collect toys that are in good condition. However some will only collect brand new toys (with collection points conveniently located near Carrefour or El Corte Ingles 😤).
Games consoles can go to Juegaterapia (game therapy) Foundation, helping children in hospitals across Spain.
For bikes take a look at Bicicletas Sin Fronteras (Bikes Without Frontiers), that has a list of locations across Spain that will collect your old bike. Bikes go to Senegal or India for children to use them to go to school.
If you have to change your glasses, ask the optician if you can donate your old ones. You can also ask your local chemist as some offer a collection service.
Most Alain Afflelou opticians will accept used glasses and every November General Optica opticians holds a collection campaign across Spain.
Every year in February or March the annual medicine collection is held at volunteer chemists across Spain. You can only donate those medicines that do not require a prescription. Each year a list lets the public know which items are required.
Take a look at the Pharmaceutical Bank’s website (in Spanish) for more info.
The Banco de Alimentos (Food Bank), along with other organisations, periodically hold campaigns to collect food products across the whole of Spain, including the islands.Campaigns are usually held next to supermarkets.
If you want to donate blood in Spain you can either do this at your local hospital or via the Spanish Red Cross (at their installations or in one of their mobile units – check dates locally).
The first time you’ll have to fill out an extensive questionnaire and for anyone who has lived continuously (minimum one year) in the UK between 1980 and 1996, or if you’ve received a blood transfer in the UK, you’ll not be allowed to donate.