Frequently Asked Questions

What is the FreeStore?

It’s a warehouse where we store household items that we give to families who are moving out of domestic violence shelters.  Often the women and children left their homes in the middle of the night with little but the clothes on their backs. At the shelter they receive help to start new independent and safe lives.  The problem arises when they are ready to move into their own apartments. They are often stymied because they have no household goods.  (When we can, we also respond to requests from other social service agencies to supply household goods to their clients.)

To donate gently used items to us,
call (515) 282-3733


What donations are needed?

Any household items that will help a family to “start over” in a new apartment: bed frames, mattresses, dressers, living room furniture and kitchen items are the first concerns of most clients. Often these women are sleeping on the floor in their apartments because they have no beds.


Do you take baby furniture (beds, highchairs and playpens)?

Yes, but no clothing or cribs.


Do you charge for any of the items?

No. The women who are victims of domestic violence are welcome to take whatever they need for free.


Can you pick up my furniture donation?

Yes! We pick up in the greater Des Moines area, and surrounding communities. Please call (515) 282-3733 and someone will arrange to help with your donation.


Do you take large kitchen appliances?



Do you accept small appliances?

Yes, but only if they are in good working order. We take microwaves, blenders, mixers, coffee pots, irons, toasters, toaster ovens, even countertop electric grills.  TVs are always in need.


Do you take dishes, cookware and flatware?

Yes! These items always go quickly.


Do you take bedding, linens, and towels?

Yes. Sheets, blankets and pillows are always in short supply.


Do you take clothing?

No, we simply do not have the warehouse space to maintain a useful supply. You may call Children & Families of Iowa’s Domestic Violence Services at 515-243-6147 to see if they have seasonal clothing needs.


Can you take items that are good, but just need minor repairs?

No, we have no way to repair things, and we don’t pass along problem items to women who already have plenty of other problems to deal with.


Do you take cash?

Yes. Though all our labor is volunteer and most of our items are donated, things like flatware, pillows and blankets are not always available.   We use the donations to purchase such items.


Do you give receipts for donations?

Yes. The FreeStore is a 501(c)3 organization.  Your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.