Top 10 Things to Donate Before the End of the Year

In a season when many of us are focused on celebrations and finding the perfect gift, December is a good time to think about another kind of giving: donating. Today’s Good News? There are 10 days left to donate and receive a receipt for tax purposes.

Even if your budget is tight this holiday season, you can still give back by donating clothing and household items you no longer use. You don’t have to spend money to be charitable — and the things lying around your house can have more of an impact than you may realize.

With 10 days left in 2012, Goodwill® is counting down the top 10 things to donate before the end of the year. We’re also letting you know exactly how much of an impact each item can have.

10. Computers

Computers and related hardware contain electronic parts that are hazardous to the environment if not disposed of properly. Don’t discard an old computer at the end of its useful life — recycle it through a program such as Dell Reconnect. Just remember to remove personal data from hard drives and other storage media before donating to Goodwill.

Impact: Donating or recycling one computer can help someone like Reva get back on her feet after the loss of her husband.

9. Kitchenware

Get a new cooking set during the holidays? Don’t throw away the pots and pans you will no longer use. Gently used kitchenware can be donated to Goodwill.

Impact: Unused or no longer needed items in your kitchen can help a youth like Stephanie have the opportunity to experience the pride, dignity, and self-respect that comes from earning a paycheck.

8. Video Games

Did your child just have to have the latest (and likely the most expensive) video game this year? Make a deal: for every new video game, donate two they don’t play anymore.

Impact: Donating your children’s old video games can help someone like Linda get her life back, after suffering from a mental illness and nervous break down.

7. Books

Upgrading from paperbacks to a Kindle or iPad this year? You know where we’re going with this….

Impact: Donating your kids books, fiction/non fiction novels, cook books, text books, etc., to Goodwill, can help someone like Cornelius, in our Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Title I Adult program, receive on the job training, sign up for college courses, receive computer training, help him get off the streets, and find a full time job.

6. CDs

You’ve got all your songs saved on hard drives and mp3 players. Do you really need those hundreds of old CDs taking up space in the back of your closet?

Impact: Donating your no longer used CD’s to Goodwill, helps people like Tim, learn responsibility, gain his independence, his freedom, and be able to work.

5.  Cell Phones

Unused cell phones are one of the fastest growing types of electronic waste in America. Instead of discarding your old phone, recycle or donate it — but remember to remove any of your personal data!

Impact: Donating your old cell phones to Goodwill, helps people like Shenice, who was a participant of our Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Title I Youth program. With the help of Goodwill she was able to receive work experience and find a job.  She is now creating a life she and her son can be proud of.

4. Household items

Lamps, frames, vases, curios, baskets, and collectibles are just some of the knick-knacks we love to sell at Goodwill.

Impact: Donating your old or unwanted household items to Goodwill, helps people in our Adult Development Learning Services (ADLS) program, like Matt, gain independence, have opportunities of making new friends, being able to interact within the community, and come to a place where he feels safe, loved, respected, and comfortable.

3. Bikes

Yes, Goodwill and other thrift stores take big-ticket items like bikes. When your children have outgrown theirs, or you’ve moved on to a new bike, consider donating the old ones.

Impact: Donating your bikes to Goodwill, can help people like Thomas, a participant in our Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), gain meaningful employment, be excited and enthused about going to work, and make not only new friends, but a second family.

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.

Impact: Donating your unused gift cards to the Goodwill, helps people in our Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Title I Dislocated Worker programs, like Kathy, who received support, friendship, and confidence, find a career path and goals, go to college, and find a job in her career choice as a Paralegal.

1. Textiles

Textiles include clothes such as suits, pants, dresses and shirts. You name it, we’ll take it. They are the largest volume of items we receive and sell. Revenues generated from the sale of items you donate help fund Goodwill job training and employment programs.

Impact: Over 80,000 people in our area will receive assistance thanks to your donations this year. People like Devin, who simply need a second chance.

So, what do you plan to donate before the end of the year? Calculate the impact of your donations at and tell us about it in the comments below.


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