How Donation Centers Use Your Cast-Offs

posted by Andrea | 02/11/2011

How many times have you stopped by your local donation center to drop off a bag {or 12} of your unneeded items? Probably more times than you can remember, right?

Each time you declutter, you have to bring your unwanted stuff somewhere…so where do you bring it?

I hear a lot of negative talk about the larger donation centers; and while I personally try to bring our donations to locally based charities, I don’t have anything against these “big-box” donation centers.

In fact, these huge organizations do a lot of good in our local communities and across the country!

But regardless of WHERE you bring your cast-offs, do you ever wonder what happens to the revenue made from your stuff…


Online Auction:

I bet every single person reading this post has been to a Goodwill before…or at the very least, seen a Goodwill store! They are everywhere and all of them are packed full with our castaway items. But do you know what Goodwill does with the money from those items?

Goodwill sells our donated itmes at over 2000 retail stores nation-wide and the revenue from their sales goes to train people facing employment challenges.

In 2009 alone, Goodwill helped nearly 2 million people obtain the skills they needed to find employment!

Goodwill inspires hope and self-confidence, helping people from all backgrounds and walks of life to feel successful, valuable and dignified.

We help people earn a living, improve their lives, and strengthen their families and their community.

Learn more about Goodwill Industries here.

The Salvation Army:


We’ve all seen the bell ringers standing outside our favorite shopping malls during the holiday season. I’ve donated my share of loose change — and recently, I even saw a “red bucket” that accepted credit cards! So where does all that money go?

The proceeds go to fund their Adult Rehabilitation Centers that offer all types of services like addiction dependency, family tracing, disaster response, and more. The Salvation Army was founded in 1865 and has since spread to most parts of the world!

Learn more about the Salvation Army here.

Habitat for Humanity:


If you’ve never been to a Habitat ReStore, you MUST go! Their “ReStore” sites sell everything from furniture and home accessories to building materials and appliances. I’ve purchase many building and remodeling materials there…I can’t even believe how much money I’ve saved over the years! I got a cute little sink for our laundry room with a Kohler faucet for only $10!!

So where does that money go? Obviously, to fund construction of local Habitat homes — all of which get tons of donated materials and labor.

Our church always helps to build one Habitat home each year and the whole process is extremely organized!

Learn more about the Habitat ReStores here.

So what about you…

Where do you bring your clutter? Do you know what that organization does with it?


Filed under: OrganizingResources

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