So you and your family have purchased puzzles to assemble during the quarantine, well done! Jigsaw puzzles are a great choice to help keep hands busy, minds active, and thoughts occupied. But now that you’ve assembled them all, what do you do with them?
Please, I beg of you, DO NOT THROW THEM AWAY!
There are so many things you could do to spread the puzzle love around. I’ll give you some examples – but use your imagination, look at your community, and see where you might do some good by the simple act of donating your gently used puzzles. Staying home and assembling puzzles can help keep us all safe. And happier. And distracted. 🧩💖
*If you have a senior living facility near you, consider donating to them. In most places in the U.S. there is no visiting allowed right now, and having puzzles to work on could be a such blessing to them. Large piece puzzles are usually best for aging eyes and hands.
*If there is a VA hospital, health facility, or veteran’s home near you, perhaps they would welcome a donation of puzzles to keep hands busy and minds active.
*Cancer treatment centers might also welcome puzzles to keep in their waiting rooms.
*If you have children’s puzzles that you no longer need, perhaps a local foster home might be glad of a donation of puzzles for the children.
*Do you have an elderly neighbor or relative nearby that might enjoy a puzzle? Why not put together a small care package with a puzzle or two, with a note to let them know you’re thinking about them. I know that I’d love to find such a thoughtful gift on my doorstep.
*Looking to make a quick buck or two to boost your income? Why not post them for sale on Facebook marketplace, Craigslist, or other online resale site? Ask a reasonable price and you may be surprised at how quickly they will sell. With Paypal you should be able to conduct a contact-free transaction. You’ve got some extra money in the bank and the puzzles are re-homed with someone else who will enjoy them.
*If you haven’t already, consider joining a Facebook group of jigsaw puzzlers, there are many to choose from. I think you’ll find lots of people willing to swap with you or buy your puzzles.
*Did your coworkers or friends miss out on stocking up before they were told to stay at home? Why not give them a call or send a text to check up on them, see how they’re doing, and ask if they’d like a few puzzles. You never know how much a kind gesture like that can brighten someone’s day.
Or if you have the room you can store them until the crisis winds down – when libraries, schools, thrift stores, and senior centers reopen they would most likely love to have some donated puzzles. According to the CDC, the coronavirus can only live on cardboard for 24 hours at the most, so airing puzzles out for a day is all that’s really needed to make them safe.
If you’re looking to donate your puzzles, a call to whatever recipient you choose should let you know if they’re accepting donations; if they’re not you can choose another. I think it’s worth spending a few moments on the phone to perhaps brighten someone’s day with a caring donation.
These are just a few suggestions, but again, look at your community and see if there a need that you might be able to help fill. Please keep yourself safe, first and foremost. If you are under a stay-at-home or shelter-in-place order, please do not put yourself at risk by making extra trips out for any reason. But if you can donate the puzzles safely, then by all means, please do so.
For hardcore jigsaw puzzle addicts like me, the thought of millions of puzzles being assembled once and disposed of makes me extremely sad. Most puzzles can be assembled many times; think of all the joy it would bring if they were used and enjoyed by many.
Please be safe. And please don’t throw your puzzles away. Spread the puzzle love! 💖