5 Ways to Spark Joy for Someone Else

Due to the growing popularity of Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and the appearance of her Netflix series, people are tossing out everything that doesn’t “spark joy.” But, where does all this stuff go? And can one person’s lack of spark ignite joy in another? Here are 5 local charities that can use the items you no longer need in your home. Here are five ways to spark joy for someone else in the Chicagoland area.

5 Ways to Spark Joy for Someone Else

Humble Design

Humble Design serves individuals, families, and veterans emerging from homelessness by transforming their empty houses into warm, welcoming and uplifting homes using donated furniture and household goods from the community. Studies show that the national average for families/individuals to fall back into a homeless cycle after receiving housing is 47%, but with Humble’s service, only 1% of our clients have fallen back into homeless shelters within 12 months.

Humble Design Before & After

What they need:

  • Twin bedding/mattresses/box springs/frames and bunk beds.
  • Artwork, rugs, kitchen goods and paint, spray paint, wooden letters, super-hero gear or any themed goods for kids
  • Wood to help us fix furniture.
  • Glitter to add sparkle to our bespoke art work.
  • Inspiration quotes and fun signs – xoxo, love, peace, family.

Website: www.humbledesign.org

Drop off:
431 w Pershing, 2nd floor of U-haul building in Bridgeport
Chicago IL 60609

Monday, Tuesday & Fridays between 9:00 am -1:30 pm

Dress for Success

The mission of Dress for Success is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

Dress for Success Chicago

What they need:

  • Winter Coats/Jackets – High Need
  • Handbags/Pursues – High Need
  • Shoes sizes 9 -12
  • Hats/gloves/scarves
  • Professional attire, all sizes; 0-4, 16 & up and in-season most needed – Tip: If you wouldn’t wear it to a job interview or for the first day of work, please do not donate it.
  • White Blouses/Shell Tops; 14 & up most needed

Website: worldwidecentral.dressforsuccess.org

Drop off:
Dress for Success Worldwide-Central
70 E. Lake Street, Ste. 900
Chicago, IL 60601

Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 10am-12pm and 1pm-4pm, 2nd Saturday of the month from 10am-12pm.

The Sports Shed

The Sports Shed makes it possible for kids to have positive alternatives to gangs and violence through organized sports. They provide quality sports equipment to schools and athletic programs in under resourced communities. Urban students not involved in extracurricular activities are 57% more likely to drop out and are 27% more likely to use drugs or get arrested.

The Sports Shed Donations

What they need:

  • Soccer balls – sizes 4 and 5
  • Soccer cleats – sizes 5 and up
  • Basketballs – Leather or composite
  • Footballs – Leather or composite
  • Volleyballs
  • Cones
  • Leather Baseball and Softball fielding gloves – sizes 11 and up
  • Leather Baseballs and Softballs
  • BBCOR Baseball bats for High school age kids
  • Tennis Racquets – purchased with-in the last 8-10 years
  • Athletic equipment bags (make sure all zippers work and no holes or tears)

Website: www.thesportsshed.org


The Sports Shed collection bin at Holstein Park- 2200 N Oakley Ave in Chicago, IL OR Collection bin at Sullivan Center in Vernon Hills- 635 Aspen Drive

Bernie’s Book Bank

Bernie’s Book Bank aims to solve the problem of the lack of book ownership among at-risk children living in every major American city. Bernie’s Book Bank sources, processes and distributes quality children’s books to significantly increase book ownership among at-risk infants, toddlers and school-age children throughout Chicagoland. 2 out of 3 low-income children have no books of their own.

Bernie's Book Bank Donations

What they need:

  • New and gently used children’s books for ages birth through 6th grade.
  • Please no text books, adult books, religious or activity books.
  • Early readers and picture books are especially welcome

Website: www.berniesbookbank.org

Drop-off: There are 150+ book drop locations throughout Chicagoland including all Wintrust community banks. Visit Berniesbookbank.org to enter your zip code. There is also a 35,000 sf facility in Lake Bluff that accepts donations and volunteers to process books.

Cradles to Crayons

Cradles to Crayons provides children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive – at home, at school and at play. We supply these items free of charge by engaging and connecting communities that have with communities that need.

Cradles to Crayons

What they need:

  • Clothing
  • New and gently used sneakers and winter boots (sizes newborn to adult 10)
  • Winter coats (sizes newborn to adult medium)
  • New and gently used toys (especially for newborns and ages 10-12)
  • Diapers and wipes (especially size 4 and 4T/5T pull-ups)
  • New bedding and towels (crib and twin sheets/blankets)
  • New socks, underwear, and pajamas
  • Books (especially baby board books and for ages 10-12)
  • Car seats and strollers that are less than 5 years old and in perfect working condition

Website: www.cradlestocrayons.org/chicago

Drop-off: The Giving Factory is located- 4141 W. George Street Chicago, IL 60641 Hours are 9am-5pm Monday-Friday; Enter zip code and find a local drop-off; over 50 outlets in Chicagoland area.

Cheers to sparking joy for someone else while bringing that Marie Kondo calm into your own life!