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A Shortage of Goodwill

Posted at: 02/14/2013 5:03 PM
Updated at: 02/14/2013 6:13 PM
By: Travis Dill
tdill@wdio.com

Goodwill needs donations to support its mission to hire people with disabilities, but a recent shortage could lead to cutbacks.

Goodwill employees sort donations from a conveyor belt, but they do it for more than just the paycheck.

“It creates a daily routine. It creates a purpose and a reason to get out and socialize. It creates self-esteem so it's so important for our people to be able to come here and work everyday,” Public Relations Specialist Valerie Clark said.

She donations, like clothing or household products, turn into sales that directly support jobs for over 100 employees.

Clothing sales alone bring in 60 percent of Goodwill's revenue, but a shortage of donations could mean cuts to employee hours.

Clark said donations tend to slow down during the winter months, but competition from parking lot clothing bins is also a factor.

“And we just want people to know that those are for-profit companies whereas Goodwill is a nonprofit and 85 percent of what you donate will go back to our mission,” Clark said.

She said there are benefits to trading in your unwanted items.

“It feels good to donate. It feels good to get some of the clutter out of your house and at the same time you can support a great cause,” Clark said.

The cycle keeps employees busy around the conveyor belt, and donations are needed to keep the goodwill flowing.

Goodwill is critically low on family clothing and gently used furniture in good condition. When it comes to donations Goodwill asks that you only donate what you would give to a friend or family member.