Goodwill... would it be obnoxious to donate:

I am visiting my parents this weekend, and I think it’s time to clear all of my things out of my old room. Some of the said “things” are a pretty impressive collection of art supplies. They have all been used, gently and respectfully. Would it be appropriate to donate them to Goodwill? Sets of colored pencils, chalk pastels, things like that?

Go in and ask; no harm done. If Goodwill doesn’t want them, I bet the art teacher at the local high school would be thrilled; all his supplies get shared by the students anyway.

If the art supplies are quality products, the Goodwill would love them. Many a struggling artist shops the Goodwill for usable art supplies.

I bet they’d get snapped up on Freecycle too. But I also second the art teacher idea.

Don’t neglect your local museum when deciding what to do with your stuff. Our museum has almost no kids’ items from past 1950 or so. People just never think to donate modern items.

Any old diaries and letters would almost certainly be welcome, and general history museums like mine will often welcome clothing, toys and sometimes even furniture. We like personalized items the best. For example, if you want to get rid of your softball trophy, a picture of you as a kid holding it would be a great thing to include, as well as any pictures of you wearing the clothing, or playing with the toy.

Call them and tell them you have items from the 70s or eighties (or if you’re a real young’un, the nineties) and see if they’d be interested. Museums are a great dumping ground for things that are too special/personal to throw away or donate to charity but that you don’t especially want to keep around.

Lissa,
The Museum Gal

Or, you could send them to me. :smiley:

No museum is getting my bowling trophy. No way. No how. Not ever.
Special Award for coming in last place in the father-son tournament three years in a row.

That’s okay.

We can wait. grins evilly

Well, if it is appropriate to start begging, would you like the address to the camp I work at. Donations to GSUSA are tax deductable!

GSUSA? Is that Girl Scouts? Do you want all my BADGES BACK? Cause I don’t need no stinkin’ badges. heh. heh heh.

More questions about what to donate: obsolete electronics? Frinstance, my collection of cassette tapes, a Walkman that plays them, and a single-deck boom box?

Also, one of the original Game Boys with a creamed-spinach green display and several games… that still works (I played Super Marioland this afternoon!) ?

My Goodwill always has cassette tapes (I even bought one the other day). In fact, they seem to take everything. If it works, somebody out there wants it.

Yep, GSUSA is the Girl Scouts. While I think badges are neat, most troop leaders, councils, camps, etc. don’t have a lot of use for your old badges. What we want is left over arts and crafts stuff. Last year, 1/3 of the arts and crafts budget for my camp went into buying the sort of things that you’re wondering about donating. Stuff to make dream catchers is cheap, supplies to teach our Adv. Art program is not. I would definately recommend donating to a school, scout group, or after school program type thing. The people in charge of buying would love you forever.

Hell, Goodwill will take most things. They take more than they refuse. They usually won’t take, baby cribs, child carseats, litter pans, animal food dishes, animal carriers, bowling balls (I don’t get this one), large appliances, anything that runs on fuel, hospital beds, used bedding, and the obvious USED UNDERWEAR.

Other than that, I’ve sent to Goodwill, books, games, electronics, furniture, clothing, art supplies, picture frames, lamps, dinnerware, knick-knacks. The list goes on.

Right. My first instinct, too, is that they take everything but crusty undies. Recently though I’ve begun to hear a lot about how you “shouldn’t” donate things that are too old, too dated, too used, too whatever–because poor people don’t need crummy stuff.

I don’t know. I thought that was the point of Goodwill? Old stuff?

Goodwill is a business which uses the proceeds from sales to help the needy.

So the primary issue for considering donations is:

“Can this be sold for enough to make it worthwhile to process?”

For clothing, it has to be in good enough shape that a typical person would want to buy it. If it has holes, stains or whatever, toss it. It’s an actual net loss to charities to donate unsellable clothing as they have to pay to dispose of it.

Some things are also refused because of certain costs. Old TVs and monitors in some areas cost money to dispose of. Therefore the stores will reject them. (Varies by region.)

Sattua: Goodwill and other thrift stores are just stores. Anyone can buy there. There is no income test at the door.* In fact, they like having people with money come in because they buy more stuff. A lot of non-poor people shop at such places because of the great prices, ability to buy things unavailable elsewhere. I regularly go to such places to buy things for parts to fix up things I currently have. Need a 5V, 500mA wallwart? Want last year’s hot exercise device? Head to Goodwill.

*One store in my area has a sep. entrance and small area for low income people who can get basic needs like clothing for free. Presumably there is an application process to get in there. But the other stores and the bulk of that store’s items are sold.

ftg: I was quoting something almost directly, including the “poor people” part; I believe it was an episode of Oprah followed by an article in her self-titled magazine and another in some other magazine–possibly Real Simple. Maybe it was actually “the needy” instead. My point is that we are apparently supposed to think twice about donating anything that isn’t shiny and brand-spanking new, so that’s what I’m doing.

I won’t say that I shop at Goodwill myself (because I don’t), but I do realize that all kinds of people do.

I shop at thrift stores all the time, and I’m far from poor. I think it’s really fun to comb through the many, let’s say, “quaint”, articles in the hopes of finding a real gem. The best things at thrift stores are, IMHO, quality used items. Used art supplies would fit perfectly.

My best buys have been in shoes and games. I’ve gotten two pairs of expensive Italian leather shoes (slightly worn) for under $20, and about a dozen board/card games for under $5 each.

I once got a bitchin’ leather jacket at a thrift store for ten bucks. (Vintage 1970s).

Actually, several of the Goodwill Stores that I’ve been in have signs that say “Donete your Car! It’s Tax Deductable!” or something similar.

I guess they do take just about anything.

Have you thought about donating to a local Boys and Girls Club or an afterschool program?