FAQ’s About Donating

The Northampton Survival Center could not survive without community support, and we thank you in advance for your generosity. If you don’t find your question answered below, please don’t hesitate to call us at 586-6564.

What can I donate?

Financial contributions are always accepted, and can be dropped off anytime. When we’re not there, our locking mail box provides a safe and secure place to make a financial donation.

Why do you sometimes turn away clothing?

Due to space limitations, and because distributing food is our highest priority we must sometimes turn away donations of clothing. If you are planning to bring clothing, please call before coming to make sure we are currently accepting clothing.

What doesn’t the Survival Center take?

Regrettably, we are not able to take in donations of larger appliances or furniture, because we simply don’t have room for them. Items of this type which we cannot accept include computers and monitors, beds, mattresses, appliances like stoves and refrigerators, and furniture. For liability reasons we are prohibited from accepting or donating children’s car seats, cribs, strollers, or any items that might be subject to a safety recall.

Can I drop items off when you’re closed?

No. Occasionally, people try to make donations by leaving them outside our building after hours. Unfortunately, the articles left outside after hours are often broken or spoiled and were not worth the effort to leave with us during office hours. Items left outside are further damaged by the elements so we routinely throw these items away after hours. This trash then has to be carried away at our expense. Please note our hours of operation, and know that anything left outside of the building will be a burden, an eyesore, and an expense for the Survival Center.

Card for IRS Filing

When you make a non-food, in-kind donation to the Center, please ask us for a donation form to reflect your donation for tax-filing purposes. You will be in charge of determining the value of what you’ve contributed, and you can use our valuation information as a guideline.

FAQ’s About Volunteering

Can children under 18 years of age volunteer?

Because most volunteer work is done during school hours, with many jobs involving client interaction, the vast majority of volunteer opportunities are filled by adults. In addition, the Center’s environment is a very busy and active one. With minimum supervision, volunteers need to be independent and self-directed.

There is, however, one exception for high school students:

The Kids’ Summer Food Program (KSFP), which provides additional food during the summer months to those families with children that qualify for free and reduced lunch in their schools, is another way that students can assist us during the summer months. KSFP runs from June 1st through August 31st. Our client household numbers increase with this program and we are often in need of volunteers who can help the clients get their cart(s) of food out to their vehicle and help unload the grocery bags. If you are a high school student who is interested in a weekly shift, please contact Diane Drohan to discuss this program further.

Can I volunteer with my children at the Survival Center?

Many parents are eager to volunteer alongside their children. However, because most volunteer work is done during school hours, with many jobs involving client interaction, the vast majority of volunteer opportunities are filled by adults. In addition, the Center’s environment is often very active and busy. With minimum supervision, volunteers need to be independent and self-directed.

One notable exception is the Post Office Food Drive (POFD), held annually on the second Saturday in May. This is a wonderful time for families to volunteer together. Families with children of any age can work together delivering donation bags throughout the city in the week prior to the event. Families with older children are welcome to help together on the day of the event as we receive, sort, weigh, and store the thousands of pounds of food local postal carriers bring to the Center.

Please contact Diane Drohan if you’d like to discuss a street assignment for bag delivery and/or to get on the schedule (in two-hour shifts) for the day of the event.

Can I fulfill court-appointed community service hours through the Survival Center?

Yes, several of our volunteers are fulfilling their community service requirement at the Northampton Survival Center. Like all incoming volunteers, please fill out an volunteer application and join us for an orientation. Then together we will assess the number of community hours you need and by when, your availability and interests, and the current job availability at the Center to explore whether the fulfillment of your hours can be achieved at the Center. Please check the orientation schedule and contact Diane Drohan to let her know which session you’d like to attend.

I can’t make an ongoing commitment, but I’d still like to help. Are their one-time events I can help with?

Yes, the National Association of Letter Carriers sponsors the Post Office Food Drive (POFD), which occurs annually on the second Saturday in May. In Northampton, Florence, and Leeds the food that postal carriers pick up is delivered to the NSC. We need help the week before delivering donation bags throughout the city, as well as on the day of the event as we receive, sort, weigh, and store the thousands of pounds of food postal carriers bring to us.

Please contact Diane Drohan if you’d like to discuss street assignments for bag delivery for your group and/or to get on the schedule (in two-hour shifts) for the day of the event.

For other ideas about how to contribute to the Center without making an ongoing time commitment, please see our How To Help Section.

Can groups volunteer together?

Nearly all of our volunteer opportunities require training and a subsequent commitment to either a weekly shift or to substituting on an ongoing basis. Therefore, there are not regular opportunities for group volunteering at the Center.

One notable exception is the Post Office Food Drive (POFD), held annually on the second Saturday in May. This is an ideal time for groups to work together.

In Northampton, Florence, and Leeds the food that postal carriers pick up is delivered to the Center. We need help the week before delivering donation bags throughout the city, as well as on the day of the event as we receive, sort, and weigh the thousands of pounds of food postal carriers bring to us.

Please contact Diane Drohan if you’d like to discuss a street assignment for bag delivery and/or to get on the schedule (in two-hour shifts) for the day of the event.

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