Finally, A No-Fail Gift Idea For Father’s Day

Father’s Day is coming up and with it the excuse to spoil the fathers and father figures in our lives. At least in my experience, shopping for dad can be difficult. Oftentimes it’s “the thought that counts” that rings truer than a gift he’ll use forever. That’s why shifting the approach from material to experience can be so beneficial to you both, and the creative ideas on how to do that can start with a trip to Goodwill.

Every father is different. My dad is a big sports fan. He loves the Mets and the Steelers – which also means he already owns many variations of hats, shirts, grillwear, slippers, you name it – that feature those teams’ logos. I also know that when he’s not watching, or playing, a game, he wants to be spending time with his family. With this in mind, I stopped into Goodwill to see what ideas it might spark so I could craft my gift. Here’s what I found!

I love to read, and my dad has recently been getting back into it. I stopped by the bookshelves at my Goodwill store to see what they had. These two James Patterson books looked promising, and I considered doing a “buddy read” or book club where we’d each read one and then swap. But they weren’t exactly the type of books I was looking for – these were more my grandpa’s favorites.

Next, I hit up the shoe racks. You never know what you might find! It was exciting to see a pair of Merrell hiking boots in great shape. Now that I live closer to my dad, I wondered if we might try going on a hike together. But the sizes didn’t match up – and I think it’s probably best to do some trail walks first!

The homegoods section was my next stop. I’ve had some great luck here lately! There were some cool vintage-looking decor, glasses and books. Nothing was exactly the right fit though and I was still looking for something I could tie into an experience.

No matter what section I’m in at Goodwill, there’s always something that catches my eye. Part of it, certainly is because I know the price will be more affordable than retail prices, and also because I love being environmentally conscious when I shop. If I can buy something second-hand and reduce manufacturing numbers, I’ll do it. At Goodwill, people donate their clothes, books and homegoods and the proceeds from the sales go to running the organization as well as the local community. Not only does shopping and donating at Goodwill mean you’re giving back to those in need, but it’s also part of participating in a circular economy that reduces the waste that goes to landfills.

I inherited a lot of traits from my dad. My love of shopping – and smart shopping in particular – being one of them. It was my dad who first introduced me to thrifting and my favorite Goodwill store in Manhattan. No matter what else I wrap up as a present for him at the Father’s Day BBQ I’ll be hosting this weekend, I know that spending time together – and a shopping afternoon at Goodwill is what he’ll love the most.

Happy Father’s Day!