One of the hottest hangouts in Charlotte on New Year’s Eve is likely to be the drive-thru of your neighborhood thrift store.
That’s where you’ll find some of the biggest crowds Saturday, all of them trying to beat a midnight deadline for 2016 charitable tax deductions.
Dec. 31 is typically the busiest day of the year for charities that thrive on donated household goods, clothing and furniture.
There are a half dozen such charities in Charlotte, and all plan to be open Saturday, including the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity ReStores, Assistance League of Charlotte and Crisis Assistance Ministry Free Store.
Hours vary for each site, and some will have only their donation doors open.
Goodwill’s 24 area retail stores will be the ones open the latest Saturday. Officially, they close at 9 p.m., but the agency is promising to stay open as long as there are people waiting in cars to drop off stuff.
Last year, 27,513 donors visited the nonprofit’s retail stores and drop-off sites in the region in the final five days of the year.
“Each year, Goodwill is able to provide free services to those seeking employment in our community, thanks to donations from the community,” said a statement from Michael Elder, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont.
“As individuals receive new gifts and latest technology models this holiday season, we encourage them to donate unwanted goods and older items to help give a job seeker a fresh start in the New Year.”
Like Goodwill, most of the community’s charity stores raise money for programs that help the poor, homeless and jobless.
The one exception is the Crisis Assistance Free Store and Furniture Bank, where donated items are given directly to poor people and homeless families, who must be referred to the store by other charities.
Where to donate goods
▪ Assistance League of Charlotte Thrift Shop, 3405 South Tryon St., will accept donations at its side entrance 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Accepts furniture, clothing, books, toys, jewelry, household items, electronics, computers, shoes and sports equipment. www.charlotte.assistanceleague.org
▪ Crisis Assistance Ministry Free Store will accept clothing, new and gently used furniture and other household goods, including mattresses. Crisis Assistance Ministry’s donation drive-thru at 500-A Spratt St. (the main office) is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The Furniture Bank, 333 Dalton Ave., is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. www.crisisassistance.org
▪ Goodwill Industries stores, 24 locations in Charlotte area, as well as drop-off locations with trailers. Accepts textiles, shoes, household goods and furniture. Does not accept mattresses. Store hours 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. New Year’s Eve. www.goodwillsp.org/shop/retail-stores
▪ Habitat for Humanity ReStore, three Charlotte locations. See www.charlotterestore.org or metrolinarestores.org for stores in the region. All three Charlotte stores will be open 9 a.m. until at least 5 p.m. Saturday. (The store at 3326 Wilkinson Boulevard will be open until 5:30 p.m.)
▪ Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte, five area stores. Accepts household goods, furniture, clothing, toys and unsoiled mattresses. Most stores open until 7 p.m. New Year’s Eve. The Salvation Army Family Stores warehouse on Central Avenue will be open regular hours, including 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Stores will be open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. through the weekend. www.salvationarmycarolinas.org/charlotte/home