Tacoma Goodwill Industries (WA) recently raised more than $23,000 from the online sale of a collection of donated African art sold online at shopgoodwill.com. An anonymous donor left 55 artifacts at the Port Townsend Goodwill store in October.
“The very first box I opened [contained] one of the masks staring right back at me, and it was a little unsettling,” said Dylan Lipert, manager of online sales at Tacoma Goodwill. “But then when you look at the craftsmanship and the wear from the years, and just try and piece together in your own mind the story of where this item has been, how it got to western Washington, and then how it found its way to Goodwill – that’s where it becomes very interesting,”
The artifacts, ranging from the mid-19th to mid-20th century, were used in tribal life and for tribal ceremonies in Congo, Mozambique, Tanzania and other countries. They were originally estimated to be worth about $11,000.
“We knew that there was going to be significant interest in the pieces. So we’re thrilled we are going to have this much money for job training and job placement,” said Tacoma Goodwill Public Relations and Communications Manager George White.
“Many people hesitate to donate their high-end furniture, jewelry, clothing, art and collectibles because they assume their treasures will end up for $4 in our thrift stores,” said Lipert. “My job is to make sure that doesn’t happen.”