One of the moms from my son's school asked me a question recently. It turns out she checked out my blog and has a host of questions, so I suspect this is just the start of what I'll call (insert deep announcery voice here):
Kindergarten Blog Fodder
Ok, enough theatrics. Let's get down to bidness.
The question at hand was, "what the hell do I do with old pillows and down comforters?" Or something like that.
The charities that she had contacted don't accept said items. I suspect they probably heard about the headlice outbreak at our school (again! what's with these kids?) and know better. She didn't want to throw them out and she said she didn't have the gumption for repurposing the items into something crafty, so I told her I'd do some crunchy recon and see what's what.
Fortunately, there are a number of options.
The Salvation Army accepts pillow donations and blankets or comforters in some areas. Many homeless shelters will accept donations of pillows and blankets. If you can't find any in your area that accept these donations then check with the local animal shelters. If they don't accept bed pillows, but they do accept dog beds, see below.
You can also try Freecycle or Craigslist. You never know what use someone else can put them to and you might just make some money out of the deal. If none of those options work and the pillow or blanket is made out of down, you can compost the feathers.
For those crafty types, some pillows have innards you can wash and re-stuff. You can even wash the feathers and use them as stuffing for a number of projects. If your local animal shelter accepts dog beds, there are a number of different ways you can use the filling to make your own dog bed for donation.