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New Website Helps Shelters Get What They Need

If you can't donate cash, you can donate supplies to shelters.

If you can't donate cash, you can donate supplies to shelters.

When it comes to donations to animal shelters, cash isn’t always king, says Kelly Clarke, a volunteer at The Pixie Project, an animal rescue and adoption service based in Portland, Ore.

“Some people don’t have cash to donate, but they have hundreds of other items in their homes that are needed” by rescue organizations, Clarke says.

Enter TheGivingEffect.com, a new website that connects donors with local nonprofits that need specific items. The Pixie Project and more than 250 other animal shelters and nonprofits across the country have registered their non-cash needs with the service.

“The idea for The Giving Effect was in the back of my mind after seeing the outpouring of support during Hurricane Katrina,” says founder Mitchell Silverman. “People really want to help, and if they see someone or an animal in need they will. This is especially true if the needs are items and not cash.”

According to TheGivingEffect.com, the top five things most local animal shelters need are:

1. Office supplies (computers, printers, fax machines, phones, paper, pens)
2. Cleaning supplies (bleach, laundry detergent, Fantastik, Windex)
3. Blankets, sheets, and towels
4. Miscellaneous items that can be sold to raise money
5. Building supplies (to construct fences, crates, dog runs)

Shelters on TheGivingEffect.com send donors a public “thank you,” which they can email to friends or post on their Facebook or Twitter accounts to inspire other donations.

“That is the real benefit that donors get when connecting with causes through our system,” Silverman says. “They get an online thank you which they can share with their friends [to] inspire people to ‘pay it forward’ and support causes closest to their hearts.”

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