Now that Goodwill is Closing, Here’s Where to Donate and Shop for Secondhand Goods

Housing Works is one option for people donating or buying secondhand goods.

By Michael McDowell

As we reported earlier this month, the Curated by Goodwill location on 217 W 79th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam is closing on December 17. According to an employee, the store will in fact be moving to 103 West 25th Street, at 6th Ave, where a Goodwill presently operates. It’s unclear when that location will rebrand—or if it will rebrand—but the employee I spoke with said the new store could open as soon as December 18, or in the first few weeks of January 2019.

The closure of the West 79th Street Goodwill leaves Upper West Siders with one less place to shop for affordable secondhand goods, or donate clothes, books, kitchenware, and other household items. Although secondhand stores may not be as plentiful in the neighborhood as in years past, there are still many places to donate things on the Upper West Side.

This Goodwill on 72nd is staying open.

The Goodwill location at 157 W 72nd Street, between Amsterdam and Columbus, has no plans to relocate. Donations, with the exception of household linens (such as sheets and bedspreads) and furniture, are accepted.

Housing Works operates two locations on the Upper West Side, at 306 Columbus Ave, between 74th and 75th Streets, and 2569 Broadway, between 96th and 97th Streets. These locations accept most household items, and furniture pick-ups can be arranged; electronics are accepted on a case-by-case basis. Proceeds from items sold at Housing Works stores in part fund the efforts of the organization to support those living with or affected by HIV/AIDS, and to fight homelessness.

I was unable to reach a representative of The Salvation Army, at 268 West 96th Street between Broadway and West End, but a recording lists donation hours as Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 4 PM. Readers are advised to confirm this information prior to bringing donations to the store; on Yelp, a number of reviewers who had sought to donate report being turned away as a result of arriving outside of donation hours, which may be subject to change.

Unique Boutique, a thrift store at 487 Columbus Ave between 83rd and 84th Streets, also accepts clothing, books, kitchenware, and other household goods, or “pretty much everything you see in the store,” an employee said.

Each of the Upper West Side’s Greenmarkets offers clothing collection. Those seeking to donate “clean and dry clothing, paired shoes, linens, handbags, belts, and other reusable textiles,” have three options: the 97th Street Greenmarket, which takes place on Columbus Ave on Fridays between 8AM and 2PM; the 82nd Street Greenmarket, which takes place on Columbus Ave on Saturdays between 9AM and 2PM; or the 79th Street Greenmarket, which takes place on Sundays between 9AM and 1PM. Fabric rolls or scraps of any size, as well as rugs, carpeting, pillows, comforters, and luggage, are not accepted. Donations are tax deductible.

The St. Francis Thrift Store, at 217 W 96th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam, is not accepting donations, as the store is currently shuttered for renovation.

Though options may have dwindled, charitable Upper West Siders and neighbors in search of a reasonably priced cardigan, unusual book, or spare drinking glass for the cupboard are far from bereft of choices.

For those who have a specific item which they would like to donate or who are in need of secondhand goods, donateNYC is an excellent resource. The site has a searchable, citywide directory of thrift stores and charities; users may search by type of good and address.

According to its website, the JCC will not be holding any donation drives this year, but does have a useful list of local organizations that are currently accepting goods for donation.

Are you aware of a local charity accepting donations? Is there a great thrift store missing from this list? Please chime in and share below.

NEWS | 27 comments | permalink
    1. Laura Dwight says:

      H&M has a very thorough-going textile collection program. They accept all clean used clothing not just their own store brand. You can read about it here:
      They also give donors a store credit.

    2. Ruby in Manhattan says:

      Pet shelters (e.g., Bide a Wee, ASPCA) usually need towels & linens to make their little guests’ beds more cozy. Give them a call before bringing, just to make sure.

    3. Lisa says:

      Thanks for this. SO SAD about the Goodwill on 79th Street. Please Gale and Helen, do something about the UWS losing all its small stores.
      PS I don’t think Unique Boutique is a not-for-profit enterprise. It’s a thrift store for sure, but not for charity. (I.e, you won’t get be able to deduct the donation.)

    4. Lauren Flick says:

      The Housing Works on 98th has really gotten expensive for a thrift store. I understand the $ is for a good cause but 30 dollars for a shirt and 5 dollars for a 20 page used book? I really wish they’d be more conscious of their shoppers – we want them to stay vibrant but we also need to watch our wallets – that’s the main reason many shop there.

    5. Ellyn Wolfgram says:

      Saturday is a good time to take donations to the Salvation Army on 96th. There is usually a truck outside for this purpose, so no need to even enter the store.

      • Julia Van Haaften says:

        Today and on other recent occasions they were unable to provide donation receipts. Said to ‘come back tomorrow’. We didn’t return and simply added the date and description to an old 2018 receipt. Not talking high finance here.

    6. Maya says:

      Also note – the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew on 86th and West End Avenue takes clothing donations as well any time. If one brings the items downstairs, they will give you a form to fill out and a tax receipt will be mailed to you.

    7. UWS Dad says:

      I’ve recently donated toys to the Salvation Army at 96th Street. It’s impossible to ever get hold of them on the phone and I recently had to wait until 10am on a weekday for them to open. They are also open on Saturday morning to early afternoon.

    8. Larry Person says:

      The Salvation Army is viciously anti-gay and thus is not a good choice for donations of your items or money (including donations to their sidewalk Santas).

      It’s troubling that you included them in this article.

    9. BW says:

      Cathedral Cares (in a small building just south of Cathedral of St. John the Divine at 112 and Amsterdam) accepts clothes in good condition for people hoping to enter the work force. They also have children’s clothing.

    10. Julia says:

      Coats to NYCares during holiday season. I know Janovic at 102 and Broadway has a box, and you can find other locations on the NYCares website.

    11. UWSMom says:

      Cathedral Community Cares (CCC), part of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, takes donations of clothing year-round. The offer advocacy, healthcare information, clothing distribution, a food bank and provide a weekly soup kitchen. At this time of year they also accept toys.

    12. Cintra says:

      The Housing Works on Broadway near W. 97 St. has some nice things. But they are pricing things too high. Blouses & shirts are costing in the $20 & $30. Pants are sometimes $18. Furnitures & mirrors & books are high also. I finally stop going there.

    13. Wondering says:

      I miss St Francis thrift store on 96th, it was a great place to donate and they always had some good stuff – I hope they reopen. Aside from Salvation Army, where in the area can we donate kids stuff these days?

    14. JM says:

      A Goodwill NYNJ van will park near the 217 W. 79th St. Goodwill store to collect donations once it closes. Every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting on 12/22/2018. The van will park there indefinitely depending on donations collected.