It takes more than four walls and a roof to make a house into a home. Many HOW clients arrive in housing with few or no personal belongings, due to an extended period of residence in shelters, insecure housing, or on the street. Donations of new or gently used items can make a huge difference for our clients. 

HOW is unable to offer pickup services for donated items does not cover shipping costs. If you still wish to mail a donation, please address it to:



Attn: Community Engagement Coordinator

1607 W Howard St. Third Floor

Chicago, IL 60626


Four times a year, HOW hosts donation drives to collect items needed from our high priority list. Donors can find donation boxes across Chicagoland inside partner establishments or use our designated online link to purchase and ship items directly to HOW. Holiday Wish is the exception; donors are assigned HOW clients.

Donation Drive Schedule:

April: Spring Cleaning Drive

July: Back 2 School Drive

November-December: Winter Wear Drive and Holiday Wish Drive

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, HOW's in kind donation program is prioritizing particular high-need items. We are only accepting the following items:

  • laundry detergent

  • toilet paper

  • Personal hygiene items:

    • shampoo and conditioner

    • Black hair products

    • body wash

    • toothpaste

  • cleaning supplies

    • Paper Towels

    • Cleaning sprays

    • All-purpose cleaner

    • Disinfectant wipes

    • Lysol spray

    • Floor cleaner

    • Bleach

    • Toilet bowl cleaner

    • Laundry soap

    • Dish soap

  • functioning laptops, tablets, and smartphones

HOW has limited storage and distribution capabilities for donations. If you have a large donation of new or used furniture, donations can be made to the Chicago Furniture Bank, a HOW partner. Chicago Furniture Bank helps HOW clients get a personalized furniture package for the HOW apartment. 


If you live in the Chicago suburbs, Sharing Connections accepts furniture donations. At Sharing Connections, HOW clients pay a minimal fee to receive furnishings for their entire home. Sharing Connections is located at 5111 Chase Avenue in Downers Grove, IL. Please call (630) 971-0565 to make an appointment for drop off or pickup within their service area.