Rochester, NY

Rochester's Community Wishbook

About the Wishbook - Purpose & History
DOWNSIZING – The Environmental Way



by getting rid of items you no longer use.



by donating them to a charity that needs them.

Link to Items Needed Index



  1. Because you have cleaned up your living space.

  2. Because you have kept your still-useful items out of the landfill.

  3. AND ... Because you know you have helped a local charity do its good work. THANKS!

Making Your Donation Directly to an Agency That Needs It

One of the many things we like about living in Rochester is the great number of charitable organizations, made up of people whose purpose every day is to help others. Another is the generosity of the many donors and volunteers who help the agencies accomplish their good work.

The primary purpose of the Wishbook is to give ALL of the charities -- large and small -- in the Rochester area an opportunity to get their message to the public. The listings help link potential donors and volunteers with an agency that has a specific need for their still-useful items or their volunteer skills.

Downsizing? Moving? Cleaning out your attic or basement? You may have many items that could be used by the less fortunate in our community. Replacing an item with a newer purchase? Instead of storing the old one in your attic, consider donating it to someone who can use it now! You may have clothing in your closet that is still good, but no longer fits your needs. It could give someone an outfit to wear for a job interview, or help keep someone warm this winter.

Of course, it would be easier to put items in the trash, where they end up in a landfill. It takes a little more effort to call an agency to make arrangements for pickup or delivery of donated items; however, it can be very rewarding to know that your item will be put to good use by someone who really needs it. It's an environmentally sound, feel-good, practical decision.

Each year, generous donors use the Wishbook to donate items directly to local organizations that have a need for them. Volunteers use the Wishbook to find agencies who are looking for their specific volunteer skills.

You can help the agencies all year long. Listings on the website are updated regularly throughout the year as the needs of the agencies change, so please check back often. Thank you!

History of the Printed Wishbook

The Volunteer Forum and the American Red Cross produced the first Community Wishbook in 1966. The Junior League of Rochester (JLR) took over the reins in 1985. From 1993 through 1996, the JLR collaborated with the Greater Rochester Section of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) in organizing and distributing the Wishbook.

After a two-year hiatus, the publication was revived in 1999 by local volunteers Nona and Jim Maurer. In the year 2000, they established a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation called Helping Community Charities for the specific purpose of produ ing the Wishbook.

In the years since 1999, detailed indexes of items needed and volunteers needed were added to the printed Wishbook to make it easier for users to connect with agencies. The agencies are contacted before the printing of the Wishbook in the fall of each year to make sure their information is up to date.

A Special Thanks to continuing sponsors  Messenger Post Media , and their predecessor, Wolfe Community Newspapers, for sponsoring and printing the Wishbook every year since the early 1990s. Thanks also to numerous other sponsors throughout the years whose support has helped make it possible to print the Wishbook and distribute it to the public.

About the Wishbook Website

The Wishbook website ( was established in December 2000 to provide a means of keeping the agencies' information up to date throughout the year. A text-based design was used for the website to give all users rapid access to the information. The "Items Needed" and "Volunteers Needed" indexes were added and a search box was included. The ".com" suffix was used initially because it seemed most familiar to users at the time. (The website is now listed as Services free from advertising have been used since the website was established. 

In 2002, the Special Events Calendar was added to the website to help listed agencies publicize their fundraisers and other events. In early 2014, a complete overhaul of the website was done, converting to a database structure.

If you have suggestions for improvements to the website or the printed version of the Wishbook, we would be very happy to hear them. Please send your ideas to

Your donation can make wishes come true. Thank You!