We have all done it before -- splurging on random stuff that seemed like a great idea at the time. But like most items, whether it be clothing, appliances or that really cool leg lamp from “The Christmas Story,” eventually, it gets cleaned out and placed in the donation stack.

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How does my donation help?

All jokes aside, when you clean out your closets, garages, and storage areas, what do you do with all of it?

Most of us would donate it to places like Goodwill. But how does your donation help Goodwill and its company goals? When you donate or purchase items from Goodwill, you help employ Alabamians who may be facing various systemic inequities, obstacles or personal challenges.

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 What items are needed the most?

According to Alabama Goodwill.org, the items that make the most impact on the community and fund Goodwill’s programs for Alabamians facing barriers to employment are as follows:

  • china cookware
  • glassware
  • kitchen utensils
  • toys
  • records, tapes, CDs
  • linens
  • jewelry
  • bicycles
  • sporting equipment
  • Small Appliances
  • gently used clothing
  • housewares
  • books
  • furniture
  • lamps
  • knick-knacks
  • radios
  • antiques
  • gently used shoes
  • clocks

So, I can donate any of my “stuff” to Goodwill, and they will take it, right?

Well, that depends on what you are considering to donate. Alabama Goodwill stores, according to alabamagoodwill.org, will not take the following items:

  • Water-soaked or stained items such as clothing, electronics, and items with excessive pet dander
  • Any type of ammunition, weapons, firearms, fireworks, pesticides, or flammable items are prohibited from being accepted for donation.
  • Goodwill also will not accept car batteries, tires, chemical products, gas containers, gasoline, or propane cylinders.
  • Air conditioners, carpeting, lumber, paint, plate glass, wooden ladders, windows and doors of any kind, oil, toilets, and sinks are not accepted at any Alabama Goodwill store.
  • Oversized items such as pianos, organs, ping pong tables, TVs manufactured before 2010, console stereos, large copiers, and large appliances like refrigerators, stoves, washers, and dryers are not accepted.
  • The company also does not accept hospital beds, waterbeds, box springs, mattresses, or mechanical beds.
  • Other miscellaneous items that are not being accepted for donation are high chairs, infant carriers, car seats, infant sleepers, mirrors without frames, animals, live plants, syringes, medicine, curtain rods, drapery rods, and any recalled items that don’t meet U.S. CPSC* standards.
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Donating to Goodwill provides work and training for those with life challenges. You also get a receipt for your donation, which is helpful at tax time.

However, Goodwill is not a dumping ground for broken items. If you need to dispose of broken items or any item on the prohibited list you can find a landfill at earth911.com

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