toggle mobile navigation
Put your financial donation to work in your community.


banner image

Shopping and donating helps transform lives and communities

Posted by Goodwill Staff on May 25, 2021


At Goodwill, we care deeply about our community. We believe everyone deserves the opportunity to thrive.

The work we do as a workforce leader, supporting job seekers and employers, extends beyond what shoppers see in our retail stores. And, every person who shops and donates to support our mission is helping to transform lives and communities. Despite the pandemic, the sale of donated goods led to nearly 40,000 people receiving support and over 4,300 job placements across the community in 2020.  

After a severe and life-changing motorcycle accident, Jennifer contacted Goodwill for help finding work. Our Workforce Connection Center staff helped her to regain her independence through full-time employment. 

Severe depression and social anxiety were major obstacles in Alice’s life, making her think that finding a job would be impossible. After working with Goodwill’s Individual Placement and Support program, she conquered her fears, found full-time work and plans to continue her education. 

For Scott, overcoming adversity and becoming independent were important steps in his recovery. When he was hired at a Goodwill Store & Donation Center, he was able to do just that and says, “Goodwill saved me.”

If you plan to support the Goodwill mission through donated goods, please consider these four things before you donate: 

1) Make an informed choice. You can make sure your donations are benefiting the people who need them most by asking questions and familiarizing yourself with the organization you’re donating to. Visit Goodwill’s website to learn how we help job seekers and people with disabilities and disadvantages and provide critical resources for our community. 

2) Donation attendants are here to help. Whether they are unloading your items, answering questions or explaining what we can and cannot accept, it’s in the community’s best interest for Goodwill to protect the quality of items we receive. While there are some items we cannot accept out of concern for the safety of our employees, donors and shoppers, every effort is made to maximize the value of every donation. 

3) Consider what you donate. If an item can be reused or if you’d give it to a friend or relative, then it is acceptable to donate to Goodwill. 

  • Wash or clean clothing and other household donations.
  • Test electrical equipment and battery-operated items.
  • Include all pieces and parts to children’s games and toys. 

4) Don’t leave donated items unattended outside our retail stores. We strive to be good neighbors in every location we operate which includes keeping our buildings maintained and presentable. Plus, items that are left out can lose value if they are subjected to environmental elements beyond our control. 

On average, each Goodwill Store & Donation Center kept approximately 2.4 million pounds of material out of landfills totaling 140 million pounds across our territory in 2020.

Read our donor guidelines to learn more about what we can and cannot accept. 

Written by Goodwill Staff

Mission Support Center
Tel: (414) 847-4200

James O. Wright Center forWork & Training
Tel: (414) 353-6400

Metropolitan Chicago -
Tel: (312) 994-1440