Top 10 things to donate before year’s end
Goodwill is encouraging Americans to commit to donating 10 items before the end of 2012. During this busy and celebratory time of year, many people are looking for ways to help those in need, and donating used goods is perhaps the easiest, most affordable, and one of the most efficient ways to help.
“In a season when many of us are focused on gift buying, many Americans are also just as interested in giving back,” said Shannon Halverson of Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois. “Even if funds are tight, people can give back by donating gently-used items to Goodwill. We take everything from unwanted holiday sweaters to computers and laptops — even gift cards. At Goodwill, we turn these items into something very real: job training, employment placement services and other community-based programs for people who have disabilities, those who lack education or job experience, and others who face challenges to finding employment.”
With just a few weeks left in 2012, Goodwill asks Americans to commit to donating 10 items by Dec. 31. Among Goodwill’s top 10 goods that can be donated:
10. Computers — At the end of their useful life, computers can be donated at your local Goodwill store free of charge and recycled via Goodwill’s Dell Reconnect partnership. Donors should be sure to delete personal data before donating.
9. Kitchenware — Receive something new for the kitchen during the holidays? Your old, gently-used kitchenware can be donated to Goodwill. To find the donation site in your community, go to www.goodwillni.org.
8. Video games — A donation of 10 video games can provide 47 minutes of on-the-job training for someone like Jessie, who dropped out of school but found a green job and got back on track educationally thanks to a Goodwill job training program.
7. Books — Upgrade from paperbacks to a Kindle or iPad this year? Donating 15 books can provide 26 minutes of career counseling for a veteran like Richard, a Marine Corps veteran who struggled to find employment after being honorably discharged from the military.
6. CDs — If all of your songs are saved on hard drives and mp3 players, do you really need those hundreds of old CDs that are taking up space in the back of your closet? It may be time to donate them.
5. Cell phones — Unused cell phones are one of the fastest-growing types of trash in America. Instead of discarding your old phone, recycle or donate it. Goodwill has partnered with Cell Phones for Soldiers and uses your old cell phones to help soldiers call home for free. Each donated phone provides 2.5 hours of free talk time. Donors should be sure to delete personal data before donating.
4. Household items — It’s time to give that lamp a new life. Lamps, frames, vases, curios, baskets and collectibles are just a few of the many items that you can donate to Goodwill.
3. Bikes — Yes, Goodwill takes big-ticket items like bikes. When your children have outgrown theirs, or you’ve moved on to a new bike, consider donating.
2. Gift cards — Billions of dollars in holiday gift cards go unused every year. You can donate an unwanted gift card — with any unused amount on it — to your local Goodwill.
1. Clothes — Suits, pants, dresses, shirts. You name it, we’ll take it. Donating clothes not only funds job training programs, but also provides new outfits for the job-seekers Goodwill serves.
Donating used goods of all kinds provides valuable services to millions of people every year. At the Donate Movement website (http://donate.goodwill.org), consumers can calculate the impact each donation will have in terms of job training, career counseling, financial education programs and more.
Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois is a community-based not-for-profit organization that provides jobs training and placement services for people with barriers to achieve meaningful employment.
Rockford serves as the headquarters for Goodwill Northern Illinois and is one of 165 Goodwill agencies under the auspices of Goodwill Industries International (GII).
Goodwill was recently named by Forbes magazine as the No. 2 not-for-profit in the country as well as one of America’s 25 Most Inspiring Companies.
Goodwill Northern Illinois’ territory includes an 18-county area in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin with a combined population of more than 1.1 million residents. Goodwill’s retail operations sell donated, gently-used products as well as new items such as overstocks and close-outs from some of the best-known stores in the state.
Goodwill stores in northern Illinois (Rockford, Machesney Park, Freeport, Sterling, DeKalb, Ottawa, McHenry and Huntley) and Beloit, Wis., employ nearly 300 people. Visit their website at www.goodwillni.org.
From the Dec. 12-18, 2012, issue
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