A refrigerator that no longer matches the look of your kitchen doesn't have to end up in a landfill. Provided the appliance works, you can donate it to any number of charities that work to strengthen your community. Select a charity whose mandate resonates with you, arrange a pickup or drop the fridge off yourself and find out if you're eligible for a tax receipt.
Check the Condition
Many charities will not accept donations of appliances unless they're in proper working order. If you're taking a fridge that you've recently used in your kitchen, you shouldn't have to worry about whether it works or not. If you've stored the appliance for a long duration, however, it's worth plugging it in and ensuring it works correctly. Check to make sure the fridge and built-in freezer reach their desired temperatures, that the light works and the door seals properly, and that any add-ons, such as an ice maker, also work correctly. If not, arrange to have a handyman look at the fridge to determine the issue. Take time to clean the fridge.
Choose Your Charity
Organizations such as The Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul, Habitat for Humanity and Goodwill often accept appliances to sell in their thrift shops. The monies raised from the sale of your used fridge provide support in a number of ways for people in need in the community. If these charities resonate with you, call your local branch to determine if it currently has a need for a working refrigerator. You can also think of other charities that you might wish to support such as a local food bank, a shelter or an after-school youth program.
Plan Delivery or Pickup
Unless you have a large vehicle, it can be difficult to transport a refrigerator to the charity of your choice. Many charities, including The Salvation Army, can pick up your donations. Contact the local branch to arrange a pickup at your home. To make the pickup go quickly and smoothly, get the fridge to your garage or driveway. Doing so helps expedite the driver's stop at your home, allowing him to visit other homes to collect items.
Figure Out Tax Receipt
A number of charities provide tax receipts for donations. The amount of the receipt varies by the organization and depends on the condition and features of your refrigerator. As of 2015, for example, The Salvation Army offers tax receipts that range between $75 and $250 for a working fridge. If you can't choose to support one charity over another, call around to describe your fridge, determine the amount of the tax receipt each organization is willing to give and then select the charity that gives the largest-value receipt.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.