How the New Goodwill Donation Center Differs From a Thrift Store

A few short weeks ago, the signage went up for the brand new Goodwill Donation Center here in Madison, and just a few days later they quietly opened up and began accepting donations. Their official grand opening ceremony isn’t until December 15th, but the center is fully operational now and ready to welcome you and your donations.

The new Alabama Goodwill Donation Center is located on the corner of Hughes Road and Browns Ferry Road near Publix.

Often consumers see a Goodwill sign and believe that it’s a traditional thrift shop, but this location differs in that it is strictly for donation only.

How It Works

Community members are invited to clean out their homes, offices, etc., and bring gently used items to the donation center during regular business hours. This location features a drive-up spot on the west side of the building (as pictured below) where a kind associate guarantees to meet you as quickly as possible to help unload (if desired). He or she will ask if you’d like a receipt, and then you’ll pull forward with an emptier vehicle and get on with your day. Easy!

Acceptable and Non-Acceptable Items

Goodwill stresses the importance of only donating acceptable items that can be sold in their Goodwill stores. Items that cannot be sold actually end up costing the center money that will then take away from the missions and services that Goodwill provides.

When cleaning out your home, it’s important to make two piles: one for items that will be donated and resold and another for items that should be trashed. 

Again, it’s a much better use of Goodwill’s time and financial resources to focus on acceptable items than working to trash items that cannot be sold. This is actually a very good rule of thumb for all thrift store-type locations when making donations. 

Below is a list of items that are acceptable to donate.

  • Clothing
  • Housewares
  • Books
  • Furniture
  • Lamps
  • Knick knacks
  • Radios
  • Antiques
  • Shoes
  • Clocks
  • Small appliances
  • China cookware
  • Glassware
  • Kitchen utensils
  • Toys
  • Records, tapes, and CDs
  • Linens
  • Jewelry
  • Bicycles
  • Sporting Equipment

Below is a list of items that are not acceptable to donate to Goodwill and should be discarded another way.

  • Damaged or wet items
  • CRT TVs
  • Hazardous waste
  • Household chemicals
  • Large appliances
  • Mattresses/box springs
  • Cribs
  • Car seats
  • Helmets
  • Recalled items

What happens to your items after they are donated?

Items brought to the Goodwill Donation Center will be sorted through and then distributed to various Goodwill store locations to be sold.

Alabama Goodwill Industries is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization that uses its proceeds to provide a slew of mission services for those who need it the most. The majority of these mission services center around employment opportunities and giving people a “hand up” instead of a “hand out” because they believe that self-reliance leads to dignity. 

I learned that a number of the team members at Goodwill are actually recipients of these services. While serving on the team at Goodwill, many are being empowered via literary learning, “life coach” type experiences, stewardship lessons, and general self-actualization.

Your donation to a Goodwill center lends itself to providing valuable, life-changing experiences for those that have a need. 

Madison’s new Goodwill Donation Center is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. 

To read more about Alabama Goodwill Industries, click here

 

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