Getting your clothes to Goodwill is a big step.
And Director of Communications Debra Donatto says depending on the item, it could be the first of many.
Some of them will stay in that store, but all clothes, shoes and linens head to a processing unit.
That’s where employees determine what goes into a store and what’s not good enough to go on the floor.
“You might have areas where the donations may not be really high quality and you have other areas where the donations are very high quality,” Donatto said. “That way the donations come into these central points. They get priced appropriately and then they get sent out to the stores so that no matter what store you’re shopping in, you’re going to get the same quality of merchandise.”
If it doesn’t sell after a couple of weeks and after the price drops to $1.49, it goes to the outlet — a picker’s paradise.
“Everything is sold by the pound and a lot of people who are recyclers, upcyclers and people who buy in bulk either for repurposing or stores, there are whole industries for people who shop in our outlet,” Donatto said.
After an item sits at the outlet for too long, it still doesn’t go in the trash. Goodwill calls up salvagers who buy bails of donations that haven’t sold.
“We’ve been keeping thousands and thousands of pounds of things out of landfills. We wanted people to give something a second life. Not only does it benefit the planet, but it benefits the community,” Donatto said. “Ninety cents of every dollar that we raise in our stores goes directly out to community services to support Southwest Florida.”
Goodwill knows we all have the habit of letting our donations roll around in the car for a while.
But after a couple of months of sitting in a car in the hot sun, some things like shoes start to rot. They advise that to get your donations in as soon as you can.