So imagine my delight upon reading this article in Philanthropy Today about a woman taking a road trip to visit thrift stores all around the country. This is the kind of trip I can only dream of. Right up there with backpacking Europe. Something I'm sure my husband will expect me to plan the week after our youngest child moves out (in 18 years . . . ). Goodwill Industries is sponsoring her trip, to draw attention to its stores and the people they help. Goodwill rocks.
Thrift stores rely on a steady stream of generous donations. As with donations of cash, the BBB recommends that donors be careful about where they donate household goods. Here are a few tips:
- Not all thrift stores benefit charities equally. Ask your favorite store how much your donations and purchases benefit the charity it supports.
- When gathering items to donate, make sure that the items are needed (check with the thrift store) and in good condition. Remember that torn, soiled clothing is never in style and that as hard as it can be to toss that three-wheeled monster truck into a landfill, no child wants to play with a broken toy. Disposing of unwanted and unusable gifts is costly to charities.
- Make sure you obtain a donation receipt if you would like to record your donation at tax time. Information on how to claim a deduction for charitable purposes can be found here on the IRS website.