Goodwill Donation Do’s and Don’ts

Donations

When you donate to Goodwill of North Georgia, you’re supporting our mission to put people to work. Revenue generated by your gently-used household goods supports 13 local career centers and tob training and placement services in industries ranging from logistics to retail. In fact, donors like you will allow us to put 23,000 people to work this year!

do's and don'ts

Next time you feel inspired to donate, there are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind before you head to Goodwill. Here are some tips:

•    Don’t wait to donate. Clutter today will be clutter tomorrow. If you are ready to clear some space in the closet, carpe diem! There will always be reasons to put off a trip to your local donation center, but there is no better feeling than giving back while simplifying your life. Find the Goodwill donation center nearest you at goodwillng.org/locations.

•    Do your homework. Not all thrift stores are charities, and some for-profit companies solicit donations under the name of charities while giving them little or none of the proceeds. “We operate our own stores and donation centers, which directly fund Goodwill job training programs and employment services right here in North Georgia. If consumers can’t clearly see how their donations benefit the community, they might want to think twice donating to that organization,” says Summer Dunham, director of PR for Goodwill.

•    Do double check. The last thing you want to do is donate something you planned to keep. Pant pockets, desk drawers, suitcases and even books can serve as holding places for things we don’t immediately need. “Give each item a good check before adding it to the donations pile, and if you’re packing up items for someone else, be sure they’ve removed anything they intended to hang on to.” For families with little ones, make sure the items they aren’t quite ready to let go of don’t accidentally fall into the donation pile.

•    Don’t forget your receipt. Donations made to Goodwill are tax deductible. Just be sure to keep a record of what you donate and its value. “With our Donation Tracker, it’s easier than ever for you to keep track of donations you’ve made throughout the year. Don’t worry about hanging on to paper donation receipts. Once you’ve registered a donation in our system, you can access an electronic receipt at any time and print an annual summary.”

Happy donating, and thanks for your support!

Don’t Stress, Clear the Mess

As the flowers are blooming and the temperatures are rising, the amount of clutter on your desk may have also been on the rise throughout the winter months. Spring time is here and with it comes a time to organize the clutter in your life. Whether your home, car, or work space typically remains organized or if organization is unfamiliar territory for
you, spring cleaning doesn’t have to be stressful and can actually improve your health and overall well being.Spring Cleaning

Spring is a time when people go into somewhat of a cleaning “frenzy” after being stuck inside the house all winter with shorter days and evenless motivation. Consider the following health benefits when deciding whether or not to participate in spring cleaning this year.

  1. Boost your productivity. Is your area covered with papers, old coffee mugs, stacks of used sticky notes and dried out pens? If so, tidying up these spaces will help you organize your thoughts and allow you to work more efficiently.
  1. Improve your eating habits. According to the Association for Psychological Science, working at a clean and prim desk may promote healthy eating and generosity. Grab a basket or storage bin at your local Goodwill and start living a healthier life while cutting the clutter.
  1. Save money. Living a more organized and cleaner life has effects on many parts of your well being. If you find yourself late on paying bills because you can’t find them, replacing items you still have because they’re missing, or eating out more often because the kitchen is too cluttered for regular cooking, participating in spring cleaning may actually save money in all areas of your life. 
  1. Reduce stress and live a happier life. Let’s face it, clutter can be stressful. Having peace of mind in knowing where your belongings are will reduce unwanted stress in your life. Even the act of cleaning can provide feelings of satisfaction. Put on some of your favorite tunes and enjoy the journey to a more organized and happier life. 
  1. Letting go is more liberating than you know. Get rid of the old, make room for the new and celebrate spring cleaning this year instead of dreading it. Not only is cleaning the clutter of your life a time to wipe the dust off your belongings and store them in their correct places, but it’s also a time to get rid of the things you’ve held on to for too long. Donate these items to make a difference in someone else’s life, as well as clearing the clutter from your own. It’s a win-win situation.

Year End Donations Featured on The Good Works Show

Empowering Others QuoteWith the end of the year right around the corner, it is Goodwill’s busiest time for donated goods. Individuals are cleaning out their homes to make room for holiday gifts, getting ready for next year, and getting in those last minute donations for their 2016 tax write-off. These donations are critical to the mission of Goodwill of North Georgia, as the revenue made in the stores goes back into job training and placement programs, putting individuals to work.

To talk about the year-end giving process, Regional Director of Retail Operations Vernon Warren joins the show to fill in listeners on what to donate, and what to expect at the stores during this busy time. Next, retiring VP of Human Resources John Mayfield calls in to talk about his tenure with Goodwill, and what the work meant to him. He also shares some insight on what it means to lead a department for 21 years. Listen to the episode in full at https://soundcloud.com/thegoodworksshow/vernon-warren-john-mayfield-121716.

A Holiday Thank You Brought to You in Partnership with Lanier Islands

Thank You

Goodwill of North Georgia and Lanier Islands are partnering from December 5 – 18 to give a little back to the community this holiday season. For those two weeks, when your donate gently-used household goods at any Goodwill of North Georgia donation center you will receive a coupon for $5 off admission to LanierWorld’s Winter Adventure and Magical Lights as a thank you for your generous contribution.

Did you know your Goodwill donations support local jobs? Goodwill’s mission is to put people to work, and revenue generated by donated goods sold in their retail stores supports job training and placement services for tens of thousands of North Georgians each year. With 13 local career centers and hands-on training programs for people with barriers to employment, Goodwill will place 23,000 people into jobs this year thanks to support from the community. Learn more about the people Goodwill’s mission serves at http://goodwillng.org/Success.

There are many great causes to give to this holiday season. Our collaboration with Lanier Islands is a small token of thanks to those who choose to support the power of work for local job seekers and their families this year. For more information on the attractions available at LanierWorld’s Winter Adventure and Magical Lights, visit http://www.lanierislands.com/lanierworld.

5 Tips for a Seamless Year-End Giving Process

Year-end giving is almost here, which means it’s time to prepare your donations! Last year, we served more than 100,000 donors between December 26th and December 31st. As this busy time of the year approaches, keep these tips in mind when you donate

Don’t wait to donate – Due to an increase in donations during the end of the year, the earlier you make your donation, the better. Not only will you be able to get your charitable contribution in before the 2016 tax year cutoff, which is December 31, there’s a good chance you’ll avoid waiting in lines.

Goodwill shoot on location 8/15/13

Do your research – Before donating, know how your donations benefit the community. Not all thrift stores are charities, and some for-profit companies solicit donations under the name of charities while giving them little or none of the proceeds. At Goodwill of North Georgia, we proudly operate our own stores and donation centers, which directly fund job training programs and employment services right here in North Georgia. See how your donations make a difference in our community, here.

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Clear your clutter – One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to organize and declutter. Why not start completing that New Year’s resolution early by cleaning out the clutter? If you’ve ever wondered what to do with outgrown clothing, books you’ve read thousands of times, old CDs and DVDs, excess kitchen appliances, various household items and even computers, consider donating them to Goodwill. Not only will donating these items clear out your cluttered space, they will also impact your local community.

Goodwill shoot 7.26.16.

Double check – Before donating the items that once cluttered your space, double check for items you plan to keep! Pant pockets, drawers and even books can serve as holding places for things we don’t immediately need. It is the season of giving, but make sure you don’t donate something by mistake.

Remember your receipt – To receive a tax deduction, be sure to keep a record of what you donate and its value. It’s easier than you may think. Check out our donation tracker to keep track of donations you’ve made throughout the year. Once you’ve registered a donation in the system, you can access an electronic receipt at any time.

Goodwill shoot 7.26.16.

To find a donation center near you, visit goodwillng.org/locations. As always, thank you for donating in support of our mission to put people to work.

 

 

Make Goodwill a Holiday Resource This Season

With the sounds of holiday music playing all around and malls full of shoppers searching for something special, it’s evident the holidays have arrived. This time of year is often a joyous time, but can also take a toll on your wallet. The National Retail Federation estimates the average American spends over $900 on holiday gifts and goodies. Get the most out of this holiday season by making Goodwill of North Georgia your holiday resource.

Holiday style on a budget. Whether you are decorating your house to get in the holiday spirit or hunting for the perfect tacky Christmas sweater, Goodwill has you covered. Check out Goodwill of North Georgia’s Holidays & Occasions Pinterest board to spark your creativity for everything from decorations to DIY gift ideas!

Christmas decor

Found at one of our Goodwill of North Georgia stores, these holiday snowmen could fill any room with Christmas cheer.

Clean out clutter and donate as a family. The holiday season is a season of giving and companionship. Not only will cleaning out your house save room for any new holiday gifts, but it also supports your local community. What better way to make a difference than to donate with your loved ones in support of our mission to put people to work? Check out our Cutting the Clutter Pinterest board for tips on how to clear the clutter before the holiday season. Don’t dump the old stuff, donate it at a Goodwill near you!

Donate as a family

Donating as a family can be a fun way to give back to the community, together.

One stop shop. Goodwill’s wide selection of books, housewares, clothes, furniture, toys and more can suit the needs of even the pickiest recipient. Check out this blog by Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin for unique gift ideas using Goodwill finds. Not only can Goodwill serve as your one stop place to shop, but the money you spend also helps fund job training and career development programs for community members in need. You’re giving to more than just the ones on your list.

holiday candle gift

Candles make the perfect gift for anyone on your list. Try making your own this year to add a unique touch. Image via Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin.

Join the #GivingTuesday Movement

2016_EOY_Facebook-Wall_Giving-Tuesday

When the Thanksgiving turkey is eaten and the stuffing reduced to crumbs, conversations may turn to whether to go to the malls on Black Friday or opt to make holiday purchases online on Cyber Monday. 

The holidays spotlight the distinct contrasts within our communities. On one hand, there’s a great deal of consumerism and overindulgence that goes along with the activities and traditions, helping to distract us during an otherwise cold and dark season. The season starts with a day to feast and give thanks and two days to find bargains. On the other hand, there are many among us experiencing poverty.

Unlike any other time of the year, the stark contrast motivates many to give back. On November 29,  #GivingTuesday, charities, families, businesses, community centers and students around the world come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity.

There are many ways that people choose to give, such as making a financial contribution or volunteering their time at a local community-based organization. There are other ways to donate, too, like offering our time and skills to a food pantry or donating items to our local Goodwill®. For the latter of those options, gently-used household goods will generate revenue to support employment and job training programs for people in the community. 

No matter how you choose to give this holiday season, #GivingTuesday is simple. Just find the right way for your family, community, company or organization to come together to give something more, then share how you are giving and inspire others to also give.

– This entry was adapted from an entry by Seth Turner, Sr. Director of Public Policy for Goodwill Industries International 

I Got the Interview. Now What?

I got the interview. Now what?

– Submitted by Ben Pitts, Career Coach for Goodwill of North Georgia

Out of a stack of who knows how many résumés, yours was chosen as a potential fit for the job. You received the call. You remained calm while scheduling the date and time, and then did a little happy dance after you hung up. You know you are a good fit for the job. All you have to do is tell them why. Simple, right? But what will they ask? How should you respond? How should you dress? Job interviews involve a number of different choices, each sending a different message to the employer. Luckily, Career Connector – an online job search resource – is here with tips and information to help you enter the interview room prepared to impress.

When I was a Career Coach at the East Athens Career Center, interviews was the topic that seemed to stress job seekers the most. They had past interviews where they did not know how to prepare. So they entered the interview room unsure and unconfident. But a simple trick showed them how to prepare for the interview, which boosted their confidence and enthusiasm for the interview, which increased their chances for success. Several job seekers came back to tell me about their experience. So what is the trick?

The trick is that you already know what the interviewer is going to ask. No, I don’t have a cheat sheet for you. The company already gave you one. It’s right there in the job description. All of the qualities and experience the company needs is right there. All you need to do is go through the job description:

  1. Turn the desired skills/qualifications and responsibilities statements into questions.
  2. Practice how you will answer those questions.

For example, “Plan the production schedule for the build cycle” becomes “Are you familiar with or do you have experience in production scheduling?” Or, “Proficient Computer Skills” becomes “What computer systems and software are you familiar with?”

How you answer the questions will set you apart from other candidates. Simply answering that you have production scheduling experience is good, but telling a story about a time you overcame an obstacle while scheduling or how you improved scheduling procedures at your previous company is even better. For each question, try to recall an event where your actions demonstrate the answer.

Don’t worry if you are unable to do this for all of the questions or even answer all of the questions. Just like with other tests, you do not need to score 100% to make the grade or get the job.

For additional tips on interviews, check out Career Connector’s “Interviews” topic and “Interview Questions” article at www.careerconnector.org

Click the link below for a printable version of the latest blog post from Career Connector, powered by Goodwill®.

IGotTheInterview_Oct_2016

 

Three Storage Tips That Will Help You Declutter

As the leaves start to fall and the holiday season rapidly approaches, it’s time for some fall cleaning and organization. Finding spaces for all of the excess stuff lying around the house may be easier than you think! Not only is your stuff truly someone else’s treasure, but there are various storage hacks that will revamp and organize your spaces.

Baskets make storage simple and attractive.
Baskets make storage simple and attractive.

Use baskets for organization and storage. The options for using baskets as storage containers are limitless. Baskets can be used to store items from utensils to toys. Baskets can also be placed anywhere in the house from tops of counters to under cabinets. Find your next basket at a Goodwill store near you.

After a year, donate the clothes hanging on hangers still facing the wrong way.
After a year, donate the clothes hanging on hangers still facing the wrong way.

One simple trick to decluttering your home is the reverse clothes-hanger method. To help identify pieces of clothing that haven’t been touched in months, hang all of your clothes in the reverse direction. Once you wear an item, return it to the closet facing the correct direction. After 6 months, you’ll clearly be able to visualize which clothes need to be donated. Decluttering your closet will provide more hidden storage space for all of the other miscellaneous items in your house.

Photo credit: @thriftdecor
Photo credit: @thriftdecor

Thrift a piece of furniture. Storage spaces don’t need to be dull or outrageously expensive. Up-cycle a piece of Goodwill furniture to add flare to your living space, while providing large amounts of hidden storage.

 

Treasure Hunting: Summer Finds at Goodwill

June 20 was summer solstice – and even though it’s been hot enough to feel like summer – the temperatures are now officially in sync with the season. As you fill summer’s long days with time in the sun, by the pool or relaxing at home, consider Goodwill as a source for great summertime finds. Here are some items spotted in our Hiram Store this week:

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