Posts Tagged ‘goodwill’

Shop Goodwill On The Internet – Fuzzy Wuzzy Wednesday

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Goodwill websizeDoes it make you happy when you shop at thrift stores and find really great bargains?  Do you especially feel good when money spent on those bargains help provide services for people in need?

Charity and non-profit organizations like Goodwill Industries do just that.  When you shop at a Goodwill store, your money goes directly into programs like job training and job placement for folks who need help finding work due to disabilities or other barriers to employment.

I’m sure you’ll agree that this is a vital service, one which benefits everyone in a way.  Working folks are happier, healthier, and feel a sense of purpose and connection with their neighbors.  Our communities thrive when the population is productively employed.

This all sounds great, but what if you don’t have a Goodwill thrift store in your town?  How can you shop and contribute?

Here’s how… Goodwill Industries has their very own auction-type website.  It’s called and is operated by Goodwill of Orange County, California.  Participating Goodwill stores from all over offer a wide variety of items for auction; items from antiques to housewares to clothing.  New and nearly new items are pulled from their inventories of donated goods and placed on the auction site to sell.  Because Goodwill is so large, the resources for these items is enormous.

This is not a small charity or a small auction site.  Goodwill’s presence extends to five continents, and in 2005 alone, Goodwill Industries International and its affiliates served over 846,000 individuals.

Just like shopping at a Goodwill store, the money you spend at supports programs designed to help people with disabilities and other barriers to employment who are otherwise left out of society – programs like education, training and job placement.

How does the auction website work?  Similar to eBay, but your money is going to charity.

Start by scrolling around the items you are most interested in just to whet your appetite.  I guarantee you’ll see something that appeals to you.  For me, it was the wonderful cast iron Dutch ovens, griddles, and skillets.  There were even a few enameled cast iron casserole dishes.  Once I was sufficiently impressed, I just clicked on the “Sign-in” button, clicked on “I’m a New User”, and followed the simple instructions to register.

Of course, you’ll see some expensive antiques, art work, and jewelry, but you’ll also find things like a $10 Sunbeam Mixmaster, a $9 Pampered Chef baking dish, and even a vintage wedding gown for under $20!

The shipping should be factored in as you know, but seems to be what you would expect to pay.  But, it may be worth the cost to ship if you find something that you haven’t been able to find locally; maybe a missing piece from a set of dishes that you would like to complete.

Take a break from your busy day, click on, and start with a little window shopping.  When you see something that interests you, go ahead and register.  It will only take a minute or two and you’ll feel good the rest of the day, knowing the purchases you make are doing more than supporting a business… your purchases are supporting a community.

p.s. If you’ve gotten the urge to visit your local thrift shops now, before you start click here to read a few tips about when to shop and what to look for when you go.