Spring Cleaning with a Thrifty Twist

Spring is a time for second chances or fresh starts. Want to have a little fun with spring cleaning this year? Check out these five thrifty organization ideas to help tackle your messy house.

  1. Spice up your office supplies and give an empty spice container a second chance by using it as a fun storage piece for your office needs!Spice Storage
  2. Did you know lamp shades can double as baskets? Find a unique design at your local Goodwill and transform your playroom into an organized living space! Lampshade basket
  3. Glass jars can be used for storing almost anything. From craft supplies to snack foods, these handy jars can be found at almost any Goodwill anytime of the year! Have fun mixing up what their purpose is and find out just how multi-functional they are.
    Jars
  4. Another commonly found item in Goodwill stores are milk glasses. These glasses can serve as a unique, yet functional storage pieces for your jewelry items.Plant jewelry holders
  5. Gift bags are not an every day household item, however they are easily collected and can still be stored in an organized fashion. Use file folder organizers as your gift bag storage solution.
    office organizer

The Art of Expression

In 2012, Olatoye “Toye” Olawoyin moved to the United States from Nigeria in search of opportunity. His mother dreamed of a better life for her children, but was unable to relocate to America herself. At only 17 years old, Olawoyin departed from his homeland with only a dream in his heart and two sisters by his side.

Residing in Duluth, Georgia was no coincidence for Olawoyin. His uncle, who already lived in Duluth, offered Olawoyin and his sisters a place to call home as they began this new chapter in their lives. Having a home away from home gave them the chance to be able to get a head start on taking advantage of their new opportunity. Olawoyin enrolled in school at Central Gwinnett High School, where he has now graduated from.

February 2018

Struggling with English as a second language and a hearing impairment, Olawoyin had a hard time transitioning to life in the United States and finding employment. He was referred to Goodwill’s Workforce Development program by his counselor at the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Office to get help finding a job that fit his skills and abilities. While in the program, he received hands-on training, which included on-the-job assessments for attendance, punctuality, quality of work and co-worker relations.

During these assessments, Olawoyin worked inside Goodwill’s Pleasant Hill store, processing and sorting donations. It wasn’t long before those evaluating him and working alongside him realized he was an incredibly hard worker. “Toye was a model participant while in the program. He was always on time and never missed a day of training. He always had a positive attitude and worked well with his supervisors, the other participants and the store associates,” says Job Coach Felicia Moran. In fact, store management was so impressed by his work ethic that Olawoyin secured full-time employment at the store as soon as he completed his program training.

For two years now, Olawoyin has worked hard in the store, determined to make his own way and provide for his family. He sends a portion of his weekly paycheck back to his family in Nigeria and doesn’t allow his hearing impairment to prevent him from succeeding. Though he is quiet and shy in nature, Olawoyin is also resilient and determined to succeed in everything he tries.

As a “floater” in the store, he is ready to step in wherever he is needed. Whether he’s processing donations in production or arranging merchandise neatly on shelves, he’s always smiling and giving a thumbs up. “I really like my job and I want to keep working,” he says. Looking towards the future, Olawoyin hopes to continue saving his money so that he can visit his mother in Africa and further pursue his dreams of becoming an artist.

Tips for Year End Donations

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 2017 tax year cutoff, which is December 31, there’s a good chance you’ll avoid waiting in lines.

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.

2

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.

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.

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.

2

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