If you are tired of looking at that old treadmill in the garage, you’re not alone. Lots of Americans buy exercise equipment they end up not using. If you’re one of them, you can do yourself (and the world) a favor by donating the unused equipment to charities or individuals that will put it to good use.
Contact Fitness 4 Charity (see “Resources”). The organization distributes donated equipment to churches, schools, hospitals and foster homes. It also outfits police and fire stations. To start the donation, fill out an online form specifying type of equipment, how old it is, condition (whether it’s in working order or needs repairs), brand name and model and where it was used (commercial facility or at home, for example).
Connect with locals who are looking for used equipment. While this can’t be considered an “official” donation, you are still passing on the equipment to somebody who can put it to good use. To donate it to an individual, first visit shelters or community centers and post flyers offering the equipment. If that doesn’t pan out, consider offering through websites such as Freecycle (see “Resources”).
Donate the equipment to organizations that work with disadvantaged youth. Examples include IloveSchools.com and SportsGift.org. The donated equipment goes into a database, where it is matched with people who have requested it. This includes teachers, coaches and organizers from around the country.
Call your local Salvation Army store and ask if it takes donations of large equipment. Smaller stores may not, but they might be able to point you towards a larger shop or a secondary option, such as Goodwill. The Salvation Army will usually pick up from your home, so you don’t have to worry about transporting the equipment.
Get a receipt for your donation. Depending on your situation, you may be able to claim a deduction on your tax return.
To prevent injury, exercise caution when moving heavy exercise equipment. Get a friend or a family member to help.