INDIAN ROCKS BEACH — Regulating short-term rental properties has been a hot topic here recently, but one local woman is taking a different approach to the subject of vacation rentals.

Diane Daniel says she decided to turn a negative into a positive last year when she was left with a condo full of food, clothing and beach toys after her long-term renters left.

“I was so overwhelmed with cleaning and reorganizing that I almost threw the leftover food items away,” Daniel said. “Tossing everything in the trash would’ve been the path of least resistance. But as someone who hates waste and loves donating, reusing and repurposing, it was a path I couldn’t bear to take.”

Daniel, a freelance journalist, began researching places she could donate the unused food and vacation items, and she quickly discovered she could take almost everything to local nonprofits within a 2-mile radius of her home.

“We in Indian Rocks Beach are so lucky to have these resources within close reach,” she said. “But the problem is that many people either don’t know they exist or don’t know how they work. My aim is to show them.”

Enter, Daniel’s one-stop-shop for resources and locations for vacationers, rental owners and property managers looking to unload their leftover stuff.

“The tagline is, ‘After a stay, give it away,’” Daniel said.

The website provides links, addresses and hours of operation of places for people to donate food, clothing, and other items. Those include the Beach Community Food Pantry, Calvary Episcopal Church and the Take-a-Toy-Leave-a-Toy bins on the beach.

“With the proliferation of short-term rentals, many more tourists buy items they wouldn’t have bought at a hotel, especially food and beach supplies,” she noted. 

For example, old towels and bed linens are coveted by animal shelters. 

“One small stain on a towel means it can’t be used in a vacation rental, but the dogs don’t mind,” Daniel said.

VacationDonations aims to partner with local businesses, such as Plumlee Beach Realty, and area nonprofits, like Greentown Kids, which has toy bins located at six beach entrances.

“There are some 13,000 Airbnb listings in Pinellas County alone, and more than 6 million worldwide,” Daniel noted. “So, that’s a lot of potential leftover food and goods.”

Daniel said there are similar initiatives in Colorado and North Carolina, adding her “wildest dream is to inspire other resort communities to start their own reuse initiatives.”

In the first six weeks since launching VacationDonations, Daniel said she has received donations, feedback and partnership offers. After a recent food drive she hosted, a seasonal resident offered to put a donation bin in the lobby of her building to support the cause. 

“This is exactly the kind of activity I hope to inspire,” Daniel said.

For more information, visit or contact Diane Daniel at or 727-201-2333.