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Best Items to Donate to Charity and Causes

  • Published: 2011-03-16 : Author: Goodwill Industries International
  • Synopsis: When you donate used clothing housewares and electronics you are helping Goodwill provide job training education programs and community-based services.

Main Document

The Top Five Things You Should Donate This Spring - Simplify your Life by Donating to Goodwill...

Spring presents the perfect time to take a fresh look at the items in your home and decide what should stay and what should go. As you de-clutter your home, Goodwill Industries® can put your unwanted items to good use. When you donate your gently used clothing, housewares and electronics, you are helping Goodwill® provide job training, education programs and community-based services to people in local communities every year.

Here are the top five things that people don't think to donate.

1. Computers: Through a partnership with Dell, many Goodwill locations now accept computers to be recycled for free, regardless of whether they are in working condition. You can also pack up an old laptop or netbook as well as accessories such as mice and printers and donate them to Goodwill. Through the Dell Reconnect program, Goodwill and Dell offer consumers a way to dispose of computers and accessories in an environmentally responsible way while receiving a tax deduction at the same time. Visit to learn more.

2. Cell phones: It's time to dig out the old cell phones you have hidden away. If you've ever upgraded to a new cell phone, it's likely you have an old one somewhere at home. Goodwill agencies are working with partners to collect and recycle these phones and keep them out of landfills.

3. Books: If you've already read a book and have no plans to read it again, donate it to Goodwill. Donating books frees valuable shelf space and makes room for new ones. Check your children's rooms for outgrown kid's books or your kitchen for cookbooks you haven't consulted in the last year.

4. Clothing: You can let go of the jeans that never quite fit or that sweater that wasn't quite your style. Goodwill agencies gladly accept donations of gently used clothing. As you're cleaning out your closet, put clothing donations in a pile and, when you're finished, bring them to your nearest Goodwill donation center. When you're finished going through your closet, that pile might be bigger than you bargained for!

5. Housewares: Sometimes we inherit household items from others or receive them as gifts. If you have a second toaster, vacuum cleaner or blender that you don't need, donate it to Goodwill.

More than 66 million donors have given their gently used items to Goodwill, helping their neighbors build careers and make positive contributions to their communities. Last year, Goodwill served more than 2 million people; including people with disabilities, those who lack education or work experience and others facing challenges to finding employment. Goodwill also started the Donate Movement to highlight the positive effects donating has on both people and the planet.

One expert who knows all about the process of de-cluttering is Lorie Marrero, Certified Professional Organizer®, contributor to Good Housekeeping and spokesperson for Goodwill's Donate Movement. She is also the author of The Clutter Diet: The Skinny on Organizing Your Home and Taking Control of Your Life and the creator of, an innovative program that teaches people how to organize their closets, businesses and homes. An organizing expert, Marrero has first-hand knowledge about spring cleaning and the importance of donating gently used items to environmentally sustainable organizations such as Goodwill.

Please remember that not all Goodwill stores accept all items. Visit to find a local Goodwill store and determine what items are acceptable for donation.

About Goodwill Industries International - Goodwill Industries International is a network of 165 community-based agencies in the United States and Canada with 14 affiliates in 13 other countries. Goodwill is one of North America's top five most valuable and recognized nonprofit brands as well as a leading social services enterprise (Source: Cone Nonprofit Power Brand 100, 2009). Goodwill operates more than 2,500 retail stores and the first and only nonprofit Internet auction site, Local Goodwill agencies also build revenue and create jobs by contracting with businesses and government to provide a wide range of commercial services, including packaging and assembly, food service preparation, and document imaging and shredding. Goodwill channels 83 percent of its revenues directly into its programs and services. To find a Goodwill location near you, use the online locator at, or call (800) 741-0186. Twitter: @GoodwillIntl. Facebook: GoodwillIntl

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