- How can I donate to Goodwill?
Just drop off your items at any of our retail stores or our Attended Donation Center in Hagerstown, MD. To find the donation center nearest you, click here. You’ll receive a receipt for your donations, which you can itemize at tax time, plus you’ll be helping people in our area overcome barriers to employment.
- What happens to items that are donated to Goodwill?
Donations go immediately to a processing center where they are sorted by Goodwill employees and clients by category (electronics, women’s clothing, men’s clothing, toys, etc.), then priced and sent to our retail stores for sale. All items are marked very inexpensively so that people of all income levels can easily afford them. At times, we also sell excess donations to other Goodwill organizations and salvage dealers, with the money generated invested locally in our programs that give the disabled and disadvantaged in our community a hand up. Ultimately, we turn your donations into good jobs, homes, and neighborhoods.
- What exactly are disadvantages and disabilities?
A person with a disadvantage is someone who has a condition that deters employment, such as a prior history of substance abuse or incarceration, being a long-term welfare recipient, possessing little or no marketable job skills, or having poor English or math skills. A disability is either mental or physical, as described by the Americans with Disabilities Act and as diagnosed by a qualified physician. Goodwill’s mission is to help anyone with disadvantages or disabilities get a job by offering them a hand up, not a handout.
- Why should I donate to Goodwill?
Goodwill is local and works hard for a great cause. When you donate to Goodwill, you help us help others right here in the Quad-State area to build our community one job at a time. An average of 90% of every dollar of revenue we generate, including the sales of donated goods in our stores, supports job training and rehabilitation programs for people with disabilities and fights barriers to employment in this area. The other 10% goes to administrative costs.
Give to charities you know and trust. Goodwill is consistently ranked among the top charities that make your donation go further. Some thrift stores solicit your donations under the name of a charity, but as little as 5% of the money generated from these donations may actually go to the charity. You can trust Goodwill to put your donations to work in your community!
- Will my contribution stay in our area?
Yes. Contributions of goods and money made to Goodwill support programs and services provided by Horizon Goodwill Industries help area residents in 17 counties in the four-state area get jobs.
- What types of donations are accepted?
We accept new or used clothing, household items, books, and small appliances. Click here to see detailed donation criteria information. All items must be in good, workable condition. Other contributions in the form of cash gifts or bequests are also appreciated. All gifts are tax-deductible, as provided by law.
- Does Goodwill accept everything?
Except for televisions, hazardous material, CPSC-recalled items, large appliances, and used mattresses and box springs, we accept almost everything (provided it’s not soiled, broken, or missing pieces). A rule of thumb: If the item is something you would give to your mother, then we will gladly accept it.
- When donating computers, should donors purge the operating system and other software?
To protect your privacy, Horizon Goodwill Industries recommends that you back up any necessary data and remove all data from hard drives — except your operating system — before donating your computer(s). You are responsible for all confidential data that may be stored on your computer(s) or on any other storage devices with or on all products you donate. You bear sole responsibility for removing or securing such data or for transferring it to a medium under your continuing control. If available, please include your original operating system software CD(s) or diskette(s). The following programs help aid in the purging of operating systems and other software:
Freeware Windows Disk Cleaning Software (available at Download.com )
- Why does Goodwill refuse to accept certain items?
We cannot resell certain items and, in some cases, incur excessive costs to dispose of them (open cans of paint and TV monitors, for example). Please do not donate items that have been recalled by manufacturers or the Consumer Product Safety Commission (visit http://www.cpsc.gov/ for more information). It is unlawful for Goodwill to accept the donation of used mattresses. Also, we have neither the specialized equipment nor the staff expertise required to handle large appliances, building materials, etc.
- What happens to items that are broken or cannot be sold?
Goodwill’s policy is not to accept soiled items that are in disrepair. However, as part of Horizon Goodwill Industries’ commitment to being environmentally responsible, items that cannot be sold in our retail stores are sold to salvage companies by the pound. This keeps them out of landfills and still earns revenue to support our training and placement programs for people with disabilities and disadvantages. We receive more than 215,000 donations every year, diverting millions of pounds of goods away from our landfills.
- Do you repair donated items?
No. The cost of repairing items greatly exceeds the price we charge in our stores. In addition, we focus our training programs on vocations that meet current employer demands.
- Do you accept cars?
Yes. Horizon Goodwill does accept vehicles as donations. Information and procedure for donating a vehicle is available here.
- When does Goodwill need donations the most?
Because our mission to help others never ends, Goodwill always needs donations of all kinds. This includes cash, cars, clothing, furniture, and housewares. December is always the busiest donation month as customers seek to make a last-minute donation before the end of the tax year. The slowest time of year is historically the first quarter of the new year, when donors are focused more on paying their taxes than on next year’s deductions.
- What happens to the money earned from your different lines of business?
More than 90 cents of every dollar goes toward the funding of Horizon Goodwill’s mission.
- How is the money used toward fulfilling the Goodwill mission?
Our Mission Services provide a variety of services to those who need them. Click here for a list and description of the services we provide.