Goodwill talks about donations with impact amid tidying frenzy

    Goodwill talks about impactful donations amid tidying frenzy. // WSBT 22 photo

    Marie Kondo has become a household name within the last couple months.

    Her Netflix show “Tidying up with Marie Kondo” has inspired many people to get rid of items at home that don’t “spark joy.”

    Organizations and thrift stores across the country are reporting a surge in donations. That’s being met with positive and negative reactions. Some items are useful, while others are junk.

    As spring cleaning season is set to take off, Goodwill is urging you to be deliberate with your donations.

    The Goodwill warehouse on Western Ave. in South Bend is ready to receive items you may not want anymore. That includes clothing, housewares and furniture in good condition. But it would rather you not donate old box TV sets, because it costs money to dispose of them.

    Guy Fisher with Goodwill Michiana says this is a good rule of thumb when deciding what to give:

    “Giving items away or donating items to Goodwill that you would feel comfortable giving to a family member or you’re a good next-door neighbor friend are the kinds of items that we certainly would covet and cherish,” said Guy Fisher, Goodwill Michiana VP of mission advancement. “But I’ve had people say to me ‘There’s no way you want this t-shirt. It has a bunch of holes in it and everything.’ My answer to that is actually, we will take that and utilize it because we can put it into the recycling market.”

    Along with textiles, Goodwill can recycle plastics and metals. In some cases, it can even remove and use copper wire from old cords.

    Fisher says donations allow Goodwill to continue its mission, training people and developing their job skills. It also benefits programs at the Excel Center in South Bend where adult students are pursuing their high school degree.

    “We really value all of the donations that come into us. And we use the term donate, shop, change a life. Donations are an important part of our life stream here. 85-percent of our dollars available come from the store operations,” said Fisher.

    Fisher asks, if possible, you bring items to donation drive throughs instead of donation sheds. That eliminates the potential of items getting ruined by wet weather.

    “We’ve got friendly folks there that will come out at the door and take the items right out of the car for you, give you a tax return receipt,” said Fisher. “It’s really a very convenient way to donate. They will do all of the work for you because that’s part of our training program and our job opportunities.”

    As you start to tidy your home this spring, Fisher wants to remind you that many area Goodwill stores are selling items that may just be what you’re looking for to freshen it up.

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