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Items needed for refugees in Salt Lake City

Last updated 

The IRC in Salt Lake City is committed to supporting newly arrived refugees on their journey from harm to home. As part of that commitment, we provide refugees with the basics they will need to start rebuilding their lives here in the U.S. Join our efforts by gathering much-needed in-kind donations to assist newly arrived refugee families and individuals as they work to regain control of their future and positively integrate into our community. 

Covid-19 Update:

In light of the COVID-19 Pandemic, we maintain our priority to keep the refugees we serve, staff and supporters safe and healthy. We have reviewed our in-kind donation policy to ensure we have guidelines in place that will help us maintain safe processes while practicing physical distancing. We have also limited the list of donations to only include essential items that refugee families are requesting. Additionally, our office will continue to be temporarily closed until the beginning of June, so we have limited capacity to accept in-kind donations. Therefore, please consider donating to our COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, or buying from our Amazon Wishlist first and foremost.

However, we recognize that sometimes it is easier to drop off gathered donations directly, so we will be accepting a short list of essential items dropped off to the IRC office one day a week moving forward. We are only accepting NEW items that are in original, unopened packaging.

Our current in-kind donation needs include the following:

  • New, unopened cleaning supplies, including: Hand soap, Laundry detergent, Dishwashing sponges, Paper towels, Dish soap, Disinfecting all-purpose cleaning spray, Toilet bowl cleaner, Disinfecting wipes, Hand sanitizer
  • New, unopened hygiene items, including: Lotion*, Shampoo*, Bar body soap*, Deodorant (men and women’s)*, Toilet paper, Diapers and baby wipes, Feminine hygiene products
  • Gift Cards (Visa, or grocery such as Walmart or Smith’s)
  • Other new items as needed: Trash bags, Hangers, Bed sheets (Twin, Full), Cooking pots, Trash cans (13 gallons), TVs, Laptops

*Travel sized bottles will not be accepted

To schedule a donation drop off, please first email our Development Coordinator, Caitlin Fellows, at DonateSLC [at] rescue.org with a detailed list of the items you have for donation. We will follow up to confirm that we can receive the items and provide a link to our Donation Drop Off Signup. Once you have signed up for a time, we will provide more detailed instructions for dropoff. We will be available to receive these in-kind donations one day a week, every Thursday from 2:00pm to 6:00pm for donation drop off outside our office located at 221 South 400 West.

DIY Donation Drive Opportunities (temporarily suspended due to COVID-19):

Donation Drives are a great way to involve your workplace, civic or church group in a volunteer activity. Donations might include hygiene kits, school kits, work bags, etc. Contact our development coordinator at 801.883.8456 or by email at DonateSLC [at] rescue.org (subject: Donation%20Drive%20Inquiry%20) to discuss donation drive ideas based on current needs.

Ongoing needs include:

  • Gift Card Drive: gift cards to stores like Walmart, Target and Smith's offer newly arrived refugees the opportunity to choose for themselves the things they need. 
  • Resettlement Kit: Basic home supplies—such as cleaning supplies and kitchen utensils—welcome refugee families and individuals when they arrive at their new home, and help their budget stretch farther as they settle into life in the United States. 

Seasonal In-Kind Donation Opportunities (temporarily suspended due to COVID-19):

Throughout the year, the IRC in Salt Lake City reaches out to the community to provide specific items for donation drives and other needs, including our Warm Welcome Winter Clothing Drive in October and our Light One Candle donation drive in December.

  • Warm Welcome Winter Clothing Drive: throughout the month of September, the IRC in Salt Lake City calls upon the community to donate winter coats, hats, boots and other items to distribute to newly arrived refugees in October.
  • Light One Candle: join us in welcoming refugees to Salt Lake City by sponsoring refugee families or individuals during our annual holiday gift drive.

In addition to in-kind donations, monetary donations contribute greatly to the success of the IRC's work. Make your donation using the link below to ensure 100% of your contribution supports our work right here in Salt Lake City. Every bit of support helps!

Make your online contribution today! Other monetary donations can be sent to our office in Salt Lake City:

International Rescue Committee
Attn: Jesse Sheets

221 South 400 West
PO Box 3988
Salt Lake City, UT  84110

Donation FAQs

Does the IRC accept furniture donations?

Due to limited storage space, we only accept a limited quantity of new or like-new couches, dining tables and dining chairs. Contact Salam Shawky, housing & logistics coordinator, at 801.883.8482 or by email at DonateSLC [at] Rescue.org (subject: Furniture%20Donation) to determine if we can accept your lightly used furniture. 

How do I schedule a donation pick up?

Before scheduling a donation pickup, please take a moment to review the rest of our Donations FAQs, then: 

  1. Kindly review our donation pickup range to see if we can schedule a pickup in your area.
  2. Contact our housing & logistics coordinator, Salam Shawky, at 801.883.8482 or by email at DonateSLC [at] Rescue.org to discuss current furniture needs and the possibility of scheduling a donation pickup.
  3. Once items are picked up, our development specialist can offer you a tax-deductible donation receipt for your in-kind donation.

Does quality matter for furniture donations?

Yes! Refugees should begin their new life with dignity, therefore, we have high expectations for furniture donations. Upholstered furniture should be in good condition without any tears, rips, scratches or stains. If pets are allowed on upholstered furniture, the items should be well-vacuumed and cleaned before scheduling a donation pickup. All furniture should be structurally sound without any need for repairs.

Are there any items the IRC isn't able to accept?

Yes! We cannot accept the following items:

  • Mattresses/Box Springs
  • Bed Frames/Headboards
  • Sleeper Sofas
  • Futons
  • Refrigerators
  • Stoves
  • Washing machines
  • Dryers
  • Glass-top Furniture
  • Wicker Furniture
  • Entertainment Centers
  • Large Desks
  • Large Dressers
  • Large Bookcases
  • Cabinets
  • Dish Washers
  • Some electronics: VCRs, Sound Systems, Cameras, Telephones

We can only accept the following items new:

  • Car Seats
  • Toys
  • Bicycle Helmets
  • Linens/Towels
  • School Supplies
  • Hygiene Items
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Vacuum Cleaners
  • Bed Pillows

We cannot accept computers over 4 years old. Additionally, we cannot accept TVs over 10 years old.

Will all items be accepted during a donation pickup appointment?

If our development specialist deems any items ineligible during a donation pickup, they will not be able to accept them for donation.

Questions? Contact our development coodinator by email at DonateSLC [at] Rescue.org or by phone at 801.883.8456.