Why I Have Decided to Stop Donating to Goodwill

I know that I have been creating videos for the majority of this challenge, but as I was thinking about today’s topic, I felt that a blog post would be the best way to explain my issues with Goodwill. In Heidi’s article in this month’s issue of #ZeroWasteStoryTime she explores other organizations and opportunities that you could donate to, instead of just dropping off all of your items at your local Goodwill. She also explains Goodwill’s system and how long your items last until they eventually end up in the landfill.

Now, you can argue that all of our items will eventually end up in the landfill. However, are your items actually going to people in need when you donate to Goodwill? Now, it is great for people who are less fortunate to be able to receive items at a discounted price, but what about those who are living in shelters who can’t afford to go to their local Goodwill for clothes. Shouldn’t we give these items to the people in the shelters and other homeless people who can’t afford the items at even Goodwill prices? With a little bit of research, I have found half a dozen shelters in my area that will take used clothes and shoes that are in good condition. I know that if they believe that my items aren’t good enough for the shelter than it may end up in the landfill. At least these clothing items are going to people who really need them.

The money that Goodwill makes is suppose to go towards the staff members and the organization itself. On their website, Goodwill claims to “meet the needs of all job seekers, including programs for youth, seniors, veterans, and people who disabilities, criminal backgrounds and other specialized needs. In 2016, Goodwill helped more than 313,000 people train for careers in services they needed to be successful- such as English language training, additional education, or access to transportation and child care.” Unfortunately, there have been many claims of underpaying staff members with disabilities and giving more to the higher ups in the foundation. Here is a link to a petition that was created to help bring this issue forward into the media. It is currently closed, but that doesn’t mean the problem has been solved.

As a result, I have decided to stop donating my clothes to Goodwill. Instead, as Heidi explains in her article, I will be bringing my clothes to one of the local shelters in my area. Instead of going towards a mismanaged company and then eventually into the landfill, I hope that I will be able to give my clothes to people who really need them. This is just a small snippet of the issues that I have will Goodwill and their policies, but I hope that this inspires more of you to do your research and like Heidi says, Donate Good Vibes Only!