Top 10 Things to Donate Before the End of the Year
In a season when many of us are focused on gift buying (and then, let’s face it, gift returning), December is a good time to think about another kind of giving: donating.
Even those of us who are tapped out of funds can still give back by donating used goods. You don’t have to spend money to be charitable — and the things lying around your house can have more of an impact than you may realize.
With a precious few days left in 2012, Goodwill Industries of Central Florida is counting down the top 10 things to donate before the end of the year—and letting you know exactly how much of an impact each item can have.
10. Computers Broken computers contain electronic parts that are hazardous to the environment if not disposed of properly. Don’t discard an old computer – recycle it through a program such as Dell Reconnect, or simply drop it off at your local Goodwill store.
Impact: Donating or recycling one computer and provide 6.6 hours of job skills training for someone like Wayne Quamina, who was forced to quit his long career in carpentry after suffering from congestive heart failure, but learned new skills through a Goodwill program. Today, he helps build parts for Gulfstream airplanes.
9. Kitchenware Get a new cooking set for the holidays? Don’t gift rid of your old pots and pans. Gently used kitchenware can be donated at most Goodwill locations.
Impact: Donate five kitchen items and provide 23 minutes of financial planning class for a single mom like Stephanie Gayle, who learned financial literacy, job search and placement strategies, and resume development that helped her land and keep a job.
8. Video Games Did you say your daughter or son just has to have the latest (and likely most expensive) video game this year? Make a deal: for every new gift, donate two video games they don’t play anymore.
Impact: 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 Upgrading from paperbacks to a Kindle or iPad this year? You know where we’re going with this….
Impact: 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?
Impact: Donate 20 CDs and provide 1.4 hours of a job search class for someone like Cheryl Godwin, an Army vet with kids in college who had never searched for a job before, but needed to find a way to make extra income and support her family.
Impact: Donate one bag of clothes and provide 1.1 hours of resume preparation for someone like Devin Williams, a person with a criminal background who struggled with addiction, but got his life back on track and is pursuing a career in environmental engineering.
4. TVs This one’s easy. If you upgraded to a flat-screen, you don’t need that old-school clunker sitting around in your basement.
Impact: Donate a used TV and provide 39 minutes of job training for someone like Tabitha Nobles, who was homeless after splitting up with her husband, but learned how to keep going through a Goodwill Career Connections class.
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 your old ones.
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.
Impact: Help provide a job for someone like Kris Jacques, who has been in a wheelchair from birth, and was long unable to find employers willing to give him a chance, until he landed a position as a greeter at a Goodwill store.
1. Cell Phones Unused cell phones are one of the fastest growing kinds of trash in America. Instead of throwing your old phone out, recycle or donate it.
Impact: Donating used goods of all kinds doesn’t just help clean out your closets—it provides valuable services to millions of Americans every year. And it’s easy. Join the Donate Movement and calculate your impact (http://donate.goodwill.org).
And if you are Central Florida check out http://www.goodwillcfl.org/