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It sounds counterintuitive: dog and cat food, litter and leashes aren’t at the top of animal shelters’ wish lists, but paper, pens, phones and fax machines are, according to the 250 animal nonprofits registered on TheGivingEffect.com , a free website launched this summer. By connecting individual donors with stuff to spare directly with organizations in need, TheGivingEffect.com  helps people clear away clutter and benefit a favorite charity.
GivingEffect founder Mitchell Silverman was initially inspired to create the site by the outpouring of support after Hurricane Katrina but, he says, “the idea really solidified after seeing the Liberty Mutual commercial where one kind act inspires another, and then another, etc.” The website’s online thank-you notes are designed to be shared, with the hope they’ll motivate others to “pay it forward.”
So, after office supplies, what do animal welfare organizations need? Cleaning supplies, blankets, sheets and towels, miscellaneous items that can be sold to raise money, and building supplies.