We happily accept both as they are important in different ways! Cash donations – in addition to being able to purchase food and clothing items – allow us to maintain our facility and support our staff. In-kind donations – food and clothing – are critical to supporting our mission. Food donations often give us a great variety of items that may be harder for us to purchase – like cooking oil, spices, and other pantry essentials. Donations of gently-used clothing for every member of the family are featured in our StyleXchange program and are in high demand.
Our food shelf directly distributes food to people in the community through our SuperShelf. Valley Outreach leverages the buying power of food banks, like Second Harvest Heartland and The Food Group. We purchase food in bulk from both our food bank partners. Through them, we source a variety of foods and ensure we have a consistent inventory of high-demand foods for shoppers.
We trust people to know when they need help and are happy to be here when they do. We know it can be hard to ask for assistance and we try to make it as easy as possible for people to get the basic necessities they need when they do. Read more here.
We help anyone who comes to us in need. Making assumptions based on appearance or material possessions is not helpful nor accurate. We ask that the community remember that appearances don’t always reflect need.
– In some cases, neighbors borrow vehicles to get to Valley Outreach. Some may be locked into car payments they were able to afford while employed but now struggle to meet.
– “Nice” cars in our lot could belong to a volunteer or a donor, or a client may be getting a ride from a friend.
A client’s unique needs may result from health problems, differing ability, age, or another factor not necessarily visible to others.
– For many apparently financially stable individuals, a catastrophic life event or job loss can move them from middle class to teetering on the brink of financial instability in a relatively short time.
– Smart phones are often less expensive than a standard landline.
The team at Valley Outreach is here to help, not to question or pass judgment. We ask everyone else who visits our organization to extend the same compassion.
All are welcome to come to Valley Outreach if they need help with food or clothing. We typically serve individuals and families living within 300% of the federal poverty line. Learn more on our Info for Clients page.
People are welcome to come as often as they need.
Yes, all are welcome to come to Valley Outreach! We serve everyone in the community in need of food, clothing, and support navigating resources.
We rely heavily on volunteers and donors to support all of our programs and help us fulfill our mission. We are a community-powered organization and can only do our work with the generous support of people like you.
Valley Outreach closes for the following holidays every year:
– New Year’s Holiday – Dec. 29, 2023 & Jan. 1, 2024
– Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – Jan. 16 2023
– Presidents’ Day – Feb. 20, 2023 (Staff development day)
– Memorial Day – May 29, 2023
– Juneteenth Holiday – June 19, 2023
– Independence Day – July 3-4, 2023
– Labor Day – Sept. 4, 2023
– Thanksgiving Day and the following Friday – Nov. 23-24, 2022
– Christmas – Dec. 22 & 25, 2023
We also close for a few days in September (Sept. 28-29, 2023) every year for inventory. Follow us on social media for reminders and closure dates.
We focus on providing people with food, clothing, and personalized support to meet their most immediate needs and only accept donations that directly serve our mission. Volunteer and staff time is precious and sorting through items that don’t support our programs can take them away from helping people who need our services. Our Clothing Donations page has some additional information and links to other programs that may accept items we don’t take.
We want to ensure we’re giving clients high-quality clothing and maximize the efforts of volunteers. On average we process more than 800 clothing items per day – moving them from the donation dock to StyleXchange.
n-season clothing helps ensure we get the right clothes to Valley Outreach shoppers when they need them most. We also have limited storage space in the warehouse we share with our food programs to store clothes that are out of season.
We are required to follow food safety regulations. Safe food handling of frozen and perishable items requires a chain of command for storage requirements. We cannot accept partially used items because we cannot account for the safety of the item once it is open.
Companies use these dates to tell us when they think foods are of the highest quality. However, according to the USDA, these dates don’t matter when it comes to food safety (except for infant formula). Many foods are great long after these dates, especially packaged items like pasta and canned fruit. Learn more about food safety, Food Facts from USFDA.
Our drive-up donation hours are Monday from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and Tuesday/Thursday from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. Our service hours are appointment only to help minimize wait times. Monday from 9:30 to 12:30 p.m. ,Tuesday/Thursday from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. , and Friday from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (Schedule an appointment.) We are closed on Wednesday for in-person services and donations.
We are continually evaluating our programs and responding to the needs of clients. We are also mindful of external factors that are beyond our control. This year we’ve seen a significant increase in the need for our programs while also having fewer volunteers to support our programs. The most recent change in hours will help our team focus on clients in need of personalized support. It will also give our team time to work on thoughtful ways to build up programs using the resources we currently have and plan for the future.
All are welcome to shop StyleXchange during thrift hours paying with cash or credit – clients will receive a 25% discount on purchases on Wednesday. Clients will always have access to free clothing during our dedicated appointment hours.
Goodwill : Accepts small battery-operated electronics, books, sporting goods, vehicles, bikes, and furniture in good condition. Located in Oak Park Heights and Woodbury.
Savers : Accepts linens, small furniture, media (books, CDs, DVDs), knick-knacks, exercise equipment, and toys. Located in Woodbury.
Bridging : Accepts furniture, small appliances & electronics, and artwork. They will pick it up for a fee.