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Charities should be a no-brainier, it seems everyone who reads ThriftyFun shops or has shopped at thrift stores. It makes you wonder if as many people give back to these charities. I am so blessed by getting clothes of name brands, in great shape, at a price I can afford in most of the thrift stores everywhere I have lived.
I didn't, however, understand the full importance of them until my son and I were homeless because I was a victim of abuse. I had to leave California for a while (9 months) with nothing except our dog, 2 small bags, and a bag of my son's toys. We had to get out for my safety so I had to leave the big home, friends, church, and everything else I had once thought was important behind.
Now I tend to really want to know more about the charity, because of my story. I love giving back to ones that help battered women and their children, giving them jobs, food, and helping pay to get them up and started on healing. When I had to leave we went where it was cold, super cold, so from 90 degrees to within 3 weeks to a place in the 40s. It was cold by winter, a month later, with snow. As I said, we had no clothes. In that town, you were allowed to go to a charity based thrift store and pick out 3 complete outfits, per person. We could do this 3 times, making up our entire wardrobes.
When I donate things, I make sure it's clean, ironed, has no holes or doesn't look like anything less then I would wear. I wouldn't throw these items out but rather give to another charity where they may have a 25 cent table, clothes for work, playing outside, etc. I always keep in mind women who are going back to school, work, or starting over. A nice outfit makes all of us feel so much better.
I have had people at church who have had family members who had other problems and they like giving to that charity. Find out what your passion is. Shopping at thrift stores to me is like the mall. Even though I don't shop at them, we all know there are many different stores in every mall. I shop at all of the thrift stores, discount stores, and stores where we all know they have great deals.
When "giving", I choose the one who helped me, they need so much. I know I did. Blankets, shoes (new ones), school supplies, extra dishes, pretty much everything in your house, is what they need. Whatever charity you choose, do it right. Giving back is so rewarding. If you have never been told, let me tell you "thank you" from each and every person who doesn't have a name to you, but who may have a life because of you!
By Luana M. from San Diego, CA
I am so proud of you for saving yourself and your son. You are a hero!
Just a warning out there to all you good people that donate to Goodwill, thinking that you are helping the needy out. I know from firsthand experience that my local Goodwill Stores receive way more items than they can sell in their stores. So for years now, they send their "surplus" items to a Goodwill Outlet store. At these stores, things are thrown into tubs to be picked over by people. The pricing is done by the pound. The more you buy, the cheaper it is.
Well, the people doing the picking are commonly doing it to send to relatives in different countries. Or, there are some that are buying for scrap metal. I see hundreds and hundreds of things broken, ripped, smashed and trashed as the people are sorting through things. If you think your nice stuff is being resold at Goodwill, think again.
Donate to any other thrift store besides Goodwill. Their prices are getting too expensive and it is a travesty to see so much good stuff being thrown around like garbage.
I must agree with Abigail A. knowing the situation first hand as well. I used to work at Goodwill and know both sides and the two different areas being discussed. The area where items thrown into bins and mishandled is the weigh and pay. I worked in that area and that is some hard work. Items are thrown and tossed and so forth to move them quickly in and out. Yes, there are people there buying to send and sell to other countries, of course, and there are some searching for scrap metal. There were also book dealers, EBay sellers, antique searchers and church organizations. They all were there picking through the bins. Although things became ripped, trashed and smashed, some still took the items and fixed them up or excused the appearance because of the price. But before the item even lands in weigh and pay the actual retail store usually scans to ensure its not is what is considered a good item. Dependent upon condition and or how long it has been in the retail store is what determines if the item is sent to weigh and pay. But thats the same thing with the mark downs in almost any store, Goodwill just has a more dramatic downfall I guess. I also worked in the other area with those that hung clothes, and did very small tasks. FYI those that worked in weigh and pay received minimum wage for every hour that they were on task. But that did not always happen, behaviors happen and Goodwill understands and accommodates and tries to get individuals back on task so they can eventually have a job they are paid for every hour without behaviors. Those individuals are higher functioning individuals and the smaller tasks are completed by lower functioning individuals. Clothes that the weigh and pay didnt sell the other clients would take off the racks and put in a bin. For the task of putting the clothes in the bin clients are paid per piece. Some could complete this task with no problem and others only did what they felt like. But they were paid for all that they did. Most of the clients lived in group homes had friends who worked with them and didnt care too much about the tasks. They enjoyed being there. Those that think its not enough to roll out of bed for may want to rethink that. They developed relationships, went on outings, and were able to do other things they enjoy while there. I was a skills-trainer and you did things for your clients. If they needed something you didnt mind taking them to run an errand. We would go out to eat, parks, wherever we could. But back to pay, if Client A does one piece of work and Client B does 30 of course client A will make less. If client A is paid 3 cents per piece and does nothing else thats what they made. I would think that is similar to Amazon Turk or virtual bee where youre paid per keystroke. I dont understand the disconnect. I think certain extreme situations were cherry picked for that expose. As far as the retail store prices, I have no idea what is going on online. I think they have lost it. I have never heard of Goodwill offering financial assistance. I know them for providing job opportunities and training to those in difficult situations and some areas offer housing I thought. But my pay sucked and higher ups were like Big Bucks. It was great training and I learned so much, but I had to do a lot as well. Goodwill isnt all good but it isnt all bad.
As an Accountant, I recommend that every month people work to gather their excess or unused items and donate it to a legit 503b non-profit charity. The benefits are tremendous!
For anyone who files the family taxes, finding deductions is an effort which gives great rewards. One of the easiest places to find deductions is in tax deductible donations to charities. Any donation made to a non-profit charity can be claimed on income tax as a deduction.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
Does anyone know of a charity that will pick up in Woodstock, Georgia? I have furniture that I would like to give away. Atlanta Furniture and Salvation Army don't service this area.
By heimudan from Woodstock, GA
If the furniture is clean and undamaged by animals
or people, I'd think you could simply set it out
by the street and put a sign on it saying, "Free to
Good Home", and see what happens.
Of course, this might apply only if you live in a
neighborhood. Many (even affluent) neighborhoods
want to play with recycling things, or they know
someone who truly needs the furniture items.
I'd much rather give things to my neighbors if they
can use them than to have anyone make any
person pay for it like the thrift stores and used
furniture businesses do. Most of the people
shopping in those places don't have enough money
as it is. If there's any way I can help them, I want
to do that.
If you live in a college town, almost anything
you set out by the street with a "freebie" sign on it
will disappear like magic.
I was taught that "Charity Begins at Home, and
extends outward in ever increasing circles".
If you do not live in a neighborhood (like out in the
country or an inaccessible area), then this might
not work for you.
I hope this helps.
Julia in Boca Raton, FL
We called the local Habitat for Humanity when we had to get rid of some furniture. They were very happy to come pick it up! I was able to find them through the phone book, but they have a website, also.
There's also:freecycle.org or call a local church for a deserving family in need?.
A Domestic Violence organization; churches that help those in need?
There is a Vietnam vets organization that will come to you with a truck. You can schedule a pick up online at: www.vva.org