Search form


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. Our office continues to have limited operations, so we have a somewhat restricted capacity to accept in-kind donations.

Donation Storage

Due to an incredible outpouring of community support, one of our current greatest needs is donated storage space. If you have storage space in or around downtown Salt Lake City that you would be willing to donate to the IRC, please contact us to discuss potential logistics. Please email us at SaltLakeCity [at] Rescue.org

As a result of our limited storage space, one of our highest priorities for in-kind donations is gift cards. Gift cards are easy to store and ensure refugee families have access to groceries, clothing, and other essential supplies. If you are interested in doing a donation drive, please consider gathering gift cards in lieu of physical items. If you would still like to gather physical items, we are recommending that you schedule a drop off starting in November. There will still be great need later in the year, and we’d love you to start your donation drive now and drop items off in November or December. 

Our Amazon Wishlists are the easiest way to donate items to the IRC in Salt Lake City. Items can be purchased from a Wishlist and sent directly to our office.

Donate Essential Cleaning and Hygiene Supplies: http://bit.ly/IRCWishList

Donate Essential Items for Newly Arriving Refugee Families: http://bit.ly/WelcomeHomeSLC

Donate New Roots Wishlist items. Learn more about New Roots here.

Donate Spice Kitchen Incubator Wishlist items. Learn more about Spice Kitchen Incubator here.

Want to increase the impact of your donations? Learn about Donation Drive Opportunities>

However, we recognize that sometimes it is easier to drop off gathered donations directly, so we will accept a short list of essential items dropped off to the IRC office one day a week moving forward, by appointment only. We prefer to accept NEW items that are in original, unopened packaging, but may be able to accept certain used items in like-new condition. Due to a large volume of donations, we only have a limited number of drop off appointments each week. Donations will continue to be needed in the coming months; however, we are temporarily adjusting our process so that our storage and staff capacity can meet current demand. 

Our current in-kind donation needs include the following:

Highest priority:

  • Gift cards (Visa, or grocery stores such as Walmart or Smith's)
  • Laundry detergent 
  • Shampoo and conditioner (especially moisturizing kinds for Black hair)
  • Laptops
  • TVs
  • Razors

High priority:

  • Cleaning items:
    • hand soap
    • dishwashing sponges
    • paper towels
    • dish soap
    • disinfecting all-purpose cleaning spray
    • toilet bowl cleaner
    • disinfecting wipes
    • hand sanitizer
    • trash bags (large)
  • Hygiene items*:
    • toothbrushes
    • toothpaste
    • body soap bars
    • deodorant (men's and women's)
    • baby wipes
    • feminine hygiene products (pads preferred)
    • Toilet paper
  • Household items:
    • Bed sheets (twin or full)
    • Cooking pots
    • Trash cans (13 gallons)
    • Area rugs
    • Warm blankets (twin or full)
    • Blenders
    • Electric kettles
    • Towels
    • Shower curtains
    • New microwaves
    • New rice cookers
    • Vacuums

*Travel size bottles will not be accepted

To schedule a donation drop off, please first email our Development Coordinator, Otgonbayar Erdenbaatar, 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 Wednesday afternoon for donation drop off outside our office located at 221 South 400 West, by appointment only. Please email us at DonateSLC [at] Rescue.org if you need to request a different time. Due to a large volume of donations, we only have a limited number of drop off appointments each week. Donations will continue to be needed in the coming months, however, we are temporarily adjusting our process so that our storage and staff capacity can meet current demand. 

DIY Donation Drive Opportunities:

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 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. Gift cards are currently our highest 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. 
  • Cleaning Kit or Hygiene Kit: As we plan to resettle an increased number of refugee families in Salt Lake City, we anticipate a greatly increased need for basic cleaning and hygiene supplies, as these are items made available to refugees receiving case management services and beyond.

Seasonal In-Kind Donation Opportunities:

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 are only accepting a limited quantity of high-need furniture donations. Our current highest needs are coffee tables, end tables/nightstands, dining chairs, rugs, and lamps. Please reach out if you have questions about any specific furniture items. Contact Estefany Castillo, housing & logistics coordinator, at  at DonateSLC [at] Rescue.org to determine if we can accept your lightly used furniture. Items needed at the moment:

  • Side tables
  • Dining tables
  • Lamps
  • Chairs
  • Couches
  • Coffee tables
  • Rugs

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, Estefany Castillo, 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
  • Everyday clothes
  • 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.

Do you accept clothing donations?

It depends. We are able to accept winter coats, boots and outerwear donations during our annual Winter Clothing Drive.

Unfortunately, we are not able to accept everyday clothing items. Clothing donations require additional staffing, storage spaces and distribution centers that are not currently feasible. The IRC in Salt Lake City is not able to wash clothing items and does not have storage spaces that would allow for proper sorting and quick distribution.

However, we do have strong partnerships with local organizations like Deseret Industries who provide donated vouchers ensuring the families we serve have access to free clothing items. Oftentimes donations to these other local organizations come full circle to benefit our newest neighbors.

From time to time, we may be able to accept small quantities of brand new clothing items, like baby items or shoes. Please email us at DonateSLC [at] Rescue.org and we will review on a case-by-case basis. Again, we are not able to accept gently used everyday clothing items at any time.

Will all items be accepted during a donation pickup appointment?

If our housing & logistics coordinator 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.