The day after Christmas, called "Boxing Day" in some countries, is traditionally a day of organizing and donating. In the U.S., it marks the beginning what some stores call the "returns season." In homes in the Back Bay, it might mean that on December 27th folks have a few extra items lying about that they no longer need.
Whether they're duplicate gifts, replacements for items that still have some usability left, or clothing that doesn't fit but can't be returned, if you've got things to donate, here's where to go:
Salvation Army Family Store
Somerville, MA 02145
There's no Salvation Army Drop-Off Site in the Back Bay, but clothes and goods can be dropped off at this Somerville site, which is the closest Salvation Army site. It's accessible via bus routes 101 and 80, and is a 25-minute walk from the Porter Square T stop.
There's also no Goodwill Store in the Back Bay, but there are two that are relatively close:
Goodwill Donation Center
1010 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02119
Driving Directions (it's also a 15-minute walk from the Orange Line's Ruggles Station)
230 Elm St.
Somerville, MA 02144
Driving Directions (it's also very close to the Davis Square Red Line Stop).
Cradles To Crayons
The children's charity is accepting donations of all kinds, though make sure to check if what you have to give is on their list. Their drop-off center is closed until January 2nd, but until then donors can bring their goods to the charity's "1-800-Pack-Rat" storage unit, which can be opened with the combination "1984" (more details are here). The unit is on Life Street in Brighton, which is just around the corner from the charity's main giving center at:
155 North Beacon Street
Brighton, MA 02135
Driving Directions (it's also accessible by the B train and the 57 bus).
Want to donate without leaving the house? Project Smile, an organization based in Hopedale, Massachusetts that serves traumatized children, also accepts donations by mail. They're seeking stuffed animals, unused coloring books and crayons, and children's reading books, though they have specific guidelines about what they can receive. Items can be mailed to Project Smile, P.O. Box 336, Hopedale, MA, 01747.
The American Library Association also has an extensive list of places that are happy to receive mailed donations of books, whether it's Reader To Reader in Amherst, MA, which donates books to Massachusetts schools (including some Boston Public Schools) and nationwide, or to soldiers serving around the world through Operation Paperback's Volunteer Shipper program.
Donors mailing their gifts can schedule package pickups at their home online through the U.S. Postal Service. And if there are any organizations missing from this list that accept donated goods, whether by mail or in or near the Back Bay, please let us know in the comments! We don't want to leave anybody out.