I won't belabor the point that these are tough economic times and that charities need all the help they can get. While money is almost always good, time and materials are wonderful, useful donations. One of our favorite things to donate to is the local animal shelter, Harbor Humane Society. This link is to a list of things they can use on a regular basis that they will always take donations for. We have donated pet food and other supplies and it is a great way to give back. Plus Costco's great prices on Iam's, paper towels, hand soap and other items give you a lot of donating power for the dollar.
If you have a favorite charity, it never hurts to see what they need and see if you can pick it up at Costco. Buying something for half the price they might have to go out and pay for it, plus the time you save them might really make their day.