Top 10 Things to Donate Before Year’s End

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People can make an impact by donating everything from computers to clothes

Goodwill Industries International is encouraging Americans to commit to donating 10 items before the end of 2012. During this busy and celebratory time of year, many people are looking for a way to help those in need, and donating used goods is perhaps the easiest, most affordable, and certainly one of the most efficient ways to help.

“In a season when many of us are focused on gift buying, many Americans are also just as interested in giving back,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “Even if funds are tight, people can give back by donating gently used items—everything from unwanted holiday sweaters to computers and laptops—even gift cards. At Goodwill, we turn these items into something very real: 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.”

Goodwill asks Americans to commit to donating 10 items by December 31. Among Goodwill’s top 10 goods that can be donated:

10. Computers: At the end of their useful life, computers can be donated at your local Goodwill store and recycled via Goodwill’s Dell Reconnect partnership. Donor should be sure to delete personal data before donating.
9. Kitchenware: Get something new for the kitchen for the holidays? Gently used kitchenware can be donated at most Goodwill donation locations. To find the donation site in your community go to
8. Video Games: Donate 10 video games and provide 47 minutes of on-the-job training for someone like Sarouet Ouk, who dropped out of school but found a green job and got back on track educationally thanks to a Goodwill job training program.
7. Books: Upgrade from paperbacks to a Kindle or iPad this year? Donate 15 books and provide 26 minutes of career counseling for a veteran like Jason Tobey, a Marine Corps vet who struggled to find employment after being honorably discharged from the military.
6. CDs: You’ve got all your songs saved on hard drives and mp3 players…do you really need those hundreds of old CDs taking up space in the back of your closet?
5. Cell phones: Unused cell phones are one of the fastest growing kinds of trash in America. Instead of discarding your old phone out, recycle or donate it. Donors should be sure to delete personal data before donating.
4. Household items: It’s time to give that lamp a new life. Lamps, frames, vases, curios, baskets, and collectibles are just a few of the many items that you can donate to Goodwill.
3. Bikes: Yes, Goodwill and other thrift stores take big-ticket items like bikes. When your children have outgrown theirs, or you’ve moved on to a new bike, consider donating.
2. Gift Cards: Billions of dollars in holiday gift cards go unused every year. You can donate an unwanted gift card—with any unused amount on it—to your local Goodwill.
1. Clothes: Suits, pants, dresses, shirts…you name it, we’ll take it. Donating clothes not only funds job training programs, but also provides new outfits for the job-seekers Goodwill serves.
Donating used goods of all kinds provides valuable services to millions of Americans every year.

At the Donate Movement website (, consumers can calculate the impact each donation will have in terms of job training, career counseling, financial literacy programs and more.

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 the top 25 most inspiring companies (Forbes, 2012). Goodwill agencies are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that fund job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 2,700 stores and online at 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. In 2011, more than 4.2 million people in the United States and Canada benefited from Goodwill's career services. Goodwill channels 82 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) GOODWILL. Follow us on Twitter: @GoodwillIntl or find us on Facebook: GoodwillIntl.

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Lauren Lawson-Zilai
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