Donate money? You're poor enough as it is! You need cash. Well, Scrooge McDuck, you can still donate to charity (and possibly get those all-important tax deductions) by donating your unwanted junk to a needy cause. Donating clothing to thrift shops or books to school libraries are obvious options, but here are some lesser-known possibilities:

  • Cars. Many national charity organizations accept cars of almost any condition. These organizations will pick up your car, sell it, and then use the proceeds for their cause. It is much simpler than going through the hassle of selling it yourself and you're allowed to claim it for a tax deduction. Organizations that participate in car donation programs include:

    If you prefer that your Shagmobile go to an individual who can't afford a Shag of his or her own, contact Charity Cars, an organization that provides vehicles to disadvantaged families.

  • Computers. Non-profit groups, schools, and religious organizations often depend on the technology that is donated since it is too expensive for them to keep up with the latest products on their own - nobody should still be working on a Commodore 64. You can contact your local school or religious group to see about donating your computer, or you can contact Share The Technology or the Computer Recycling Center (both of which match donors with recipients across the country). If you would prefer your computer go to an individual, Computers for Youth places computers in the homes of disadvantaged children.

  • Eyeglasses. Do you have an old pair of glasses lying around? Maybe your prescription has changed, or maybe the tortoise shell frames are too out of style, or maybe you got laser eye surgery, or maybe you enjoy bumping into people as an excuse to grope them. Perv. Fortunately, there are people who can benefit from your old glasses. Lens Crafters, Canon USA, and the Lions Club International all participate in the "Gift of Sight Program" which recycles your old glasses.

  • Musical instruments. Remember how your mom made you practice the piano/violin/tuba/kazoo for hours on end? Get revenge by giving it away! The Directory of Youth Orchestras will help you find groups that can pass your instrument along to a child who can't afford his or her own.

  • Pet supplies.The Humane Society depends on donations, so give them any old leashes, cages, food bowls, water bowls, and interestingly-shaped feces.

  • Food. Pretend that you just threw a huge party with tons of friends (we say "pretend" because we are perfectly aware that you don't have any friends). What to do with all of those leftovers? Contact Second Harvest to find a food bank in your area - they'll take any food you have (leftovers, canned goods, almost any kind of food). Just remember: most food banks will not accept food that has already been opened.

  • E-donating. Web sites are springing up that allow you to donate a percentage of the amount of money you spend when you shop off of one of their links to the charity of your choice. Some of these sites will offer you discounts as an incentive to continue shopping through them. Some examples: