Out with the Old, In with the New

With the coming of the new year many of us like to reflect upon the previous year and resolve to do better in the next: lose some weight, quit smoking, save more, and do more for those less fortunate.

How about considering Goodwill® in your New Year’s resolutions? Goodwill generates opportunities for people to achieve economic stability and build strong families and vibrant communities by offering 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. In 2011, more than 189,000 people in the United States and Canada obtained meaningful employment as a result of Goodwill career services programs.


Simply by donating unwanted items to a local Goodwill, you will be helping your neighbors and your community.

Get rid of old furniture. Many of us have one or two pieces of furniture stashed away in the attic, basement, or garage that we will never use again. Don’t just throw that old couch on the street or bring it to the dump. Give it to Goodwill.

Goodwill couch

Through its entrepreneurial business model of collecting and selling donated goods in its more than 2,700 stores and its auction site, shopgoodwill.com, the first and only nonprofit Internet auction site, Goodwill helps communities extend the life of usable items in environmentally sound ways, and prevents items from piling up in local landfills.

Go through the coat closet. There must be one or two coats that someone else could use that haven’t been worn in a season or two. Donate those coats which will give someone something warm and affordable to wear, and will help contribute to your local Goodwill. Eighty-two percent of collective revenues raised through the sale of donated goods go directly toward supporting and growing Goodwill’s critical community-based programs and services.

Goodwill coats

Search the depths of the kitchen cabinets. Find those things that never get used, but take up a lot of valuable space. You won’t miss it, and you’ll be helping the community. Goodwill gives people more than job training; they give them a full set of tools they need to support themselves and their families, today and in the future.

Punch Bowls


Shopping at Goodwill is another easy way to show your support. Buying used goods saves money and helps recycle something that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill. What’s fun about shopping at Goodwill is the surprises you will find. You never know what someone might donate, so you never know what you’re going to find. It can be inspiring because you may end up using something in a new way that you hadn’t thought of before you walked through the door.

Update the bathroom. You can almost always find vintage decanters and glass containers at Goodwill. Fill them with mouthwash, soaps and swabs. You’ll get that expensive catalog look for less than you can buy one of these pieces new.

Art and mirrors. Decorate your walls with art or mirrors you can’t find in any gallery or store. Sometimes you can find a beautiful handmade object that someone spent hours making, but might have seemed outdated to the person who donated it. A treasure for just a few dollars.

Vintage mirrors always look good in just about any room—even if they have some blemishes. Mirrors add depth and light, so they are the perfect design accent. To buy vintage-style mirrors new can cost a fortune, but find them at Goodwill and pay a fraction of the cost.

Create a library. You can find just about any kind of book at Goodwill. I have a real affection for vintage cookbooks, and have created a whole library of them that I use all the time. I think it’s more fun to flip through a book than to search the internet for a recipe. The colorful photos, and the descriptions are the history of our culture. Find children’s books, reference books and novels to create your own library.

No matter what you buy, you will be helping someone in need. Goodwill provides support services — including child care, financial education, transportation, youth mentoring and other services for youth and families — that enable people from all backgrounds to obtain and maintain economic independence and an increased quality of life.

Add donating and shopping at Goodwill to your list of resolutions. It’s so easy to help, and this is a resolution you’ll definitely keep.