How To Get Involved
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How do I get involved at the Watertown
Here at the Watertown Urban Mission
and The Impossible Dream Thrift Store you have several options in
getting involved and making a difference for your community. No
matter what you give the Mission, you receive so much more in the
impact you have on the lives of people you see every day in your
Here’s how you can help:
Volunteer: The work we do at the Watertown
Urban Mission would not be possible without the more than 1,000
hours every month which volunteers give us, but still we could
always use more help. So if you would like to roll up your sleeves,
we are ready to slot you in.
Donate Items to Our Store: Sales at The
Impossible Dream Thrift Store support what we do in the Mission, so
every item that we are able to sell helps us to help more people
every day. Items are received during business hours seven days a
week at the loading dock behind the building.
Donate Food and Supplies to Our Food Pantry and Critical
Needs Programs: Every day we serve individuals and
families in need who come to us for food, personal hygiene items,
linens, diapers, formula and more. We may even be able to use your
old car or car parts for our Wheels for Work program.
Make a Financial Contribution: Everything
we do is made possible by the support of our member churches and
people like you who choose to make a contribution that helps people
and improves our society. Your generosity enables us to purchase
bulk food at extremely low prices from the Central New York food
bank, provides us the latitude to pay for critical assistance items,
gives us the flexibility to keep the lights on, and empowers us to
keep all of our vital assistance programs running strong.
How do I volunteer?
All you have to do to get involved
is give us a call or stop in. When you visit, we’ll have you fill
out a basic paper form, which will give us an idea of where to best
utilize your interests, skills and talents and then we’ll put you to
work helping people. Have an idea? Let us know how to get it off the
ground. And thank you for just thinking about volunteering and know
that we are eternally grateful to all who give of their time to
What jobs might you ask me to do?
We want to put you in your comfort
zone because your time is valuable and we want you to get the most
of your experience. However, we always need help in our pantry to do
intake, help clients shop and stock shelves. In our store, we are
always in need of volunteers like you who may have a passion for
sorting through the treasures we receive and get them up on the
shelves of our store.
Volunteers can also be slotted in to
help with maintenance, answer phones and take messages, sort and
fold mailings, distribute Food $en$e or help with any of our special
projects—including our school supplies, coat and toy distributions.
How do I donate to The Impossible
Dream Thrift Store?
We accept donations during store hours
(M-F 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday noon to
5 p.m.) at the concrete loading dock behind the Mission and the
Store at 247 Factory St.
Do you pick up items?
Absolutely. We will gladly schedule a pick up for your furniture
donations (and other items you may want to send along with it). Our
truck has scheduled routes throughout the county as well, so if you
can’t transport your items, just give us a call at 782-0090 and
we’ll do all that we can to make sure your items find a new home and
support what we do here at the Watertown Urban Mission.
What do you take at the thrift store?
We’ll take clothes, furniture, books,
bookcases, electronics, small kitchen appliances, housewares,
linens, toys, sporting goods, movies, and more, so long as the items
are in working condition.
Is there anything you don’t take?
We unfortunately cannot take large
appliances like stoves and refrigerators. Also because of government
regulations, cribs and car seats are another item we regretfully
Other than that, we just kindly
request that donations not include broken electrical appliances,
outdated computers, broken or incomplete toys and games, cracked or
broken dishes and glasses, and soiled or torn clothing. Old, gently
worn, even outdated—or vintage—items can be sold easily, but when
we receive items that are not sellable because they are damaged when
they come to us, it costs us money to throw them away, so thank you
for your consideration.
If you can bring your donation in a clear plastic bag or open
containers, it makes life easier for our sorters.
How do I donate to the Food Pantry?
Well that’s easy. You can stop in any
time during business hours (M-F 9 a.m.-5 p.m. or 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. in
July & August) and we’ll be glad to accept your donations. It’s that
simple. If you would, we’d love to get your contact information for
our records, but that should only take a moment or two to finish.
We’re extremely grateful for every donation because your generosity
helps us to serve between 500 and 700 households each month.
You might also be able to just drop
off nonperishable foods at your church. Check with your church
What can I donate to the Food Pantry?
We accept just about everything—even
fresh fruits and vegetables from your garden or farm. Of course,
canned vegetables, fruits and beans, canned soup, stew and chili,
canned meats and tuna, juice, jam, jelly and peanut butter, just to
name a few. We also accept personal items such as deodorant,
shampoo, razors, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, and cleaning
Helpful tip: Expiration dates do not
mean food has gone bad. Sometimes the food can be eaten well after
it is expired for sale, but the standards vary. You can call us if
you have any questions and save yourself a trip so that your
generosity does not end up being a higher trash bill for us.
How can I make a financial
contribution to the Watertown Urban Mission?
Every dollar counts and with even the
smallest donations you give people food, clothing, shelter, dignity,
Christian fellowship, and more. The Watertown Urban Mission is the
most complete and effective means for you to stand with your
neighbors to help your neighbors and make positive change in your
To make a contribution, you can stop
by any time or mail a check to the Watertown Urban Mission at 247
Factory Street, Watertown, NY 13601. If you have questions about
making a financial donation or setting up a regular contribution,
contact Drew or Erika at 782-8440.
To give you some idea of what we can
do with your financial contributions, $25 buys formula for a mother
whose WIC check didn’t cover the entire month, $50 pays for two to
three essential prescriptions, $100 ensures a family of four has
clothing, food and basic items they need, $250 helps to provide
1,000 balanced meals through our food pantry.
Are my donations tax deductable?
Yes, they are. Donations of all kinds,
be it money or items, are tax deductable because the Watertown Urban
Mission is a nonprofit 501 (c) 3. If it’s a financial contribution,
we’ll send you a thank you letter with the information you need. If
it’s a donation to the store and you require it, please ask one of
our employees to help you fill out a handy form.
We are eternally grateful to all who
give of themselves to help us help our neighbors in need.
Erika F. Flint, Executive Director
Drew Mangione, Development Director