Why You Should Donate to Goodwill South Texas

It’s time to update your wardrobe!

Say goodbye to the dress shirt you only wore once and the jeans that never quite fit right (they were never you anyway). While you’re seeking outfits that fit the next phase of your life, donate clothes that’ll help others explore the next chapter of theirs.

If you’re trying to decide where to donate clothes, do so where they’ll make the most impact, your local Goodwill.

Your donations to Goodwill go a lot further than you would think. Whether you know it or not, you’re contributing to the Goodwill Circle of Hope.

Here’s how it works

  1. Your clothing donations help the store generate revenue.
  2. With that revenue, Goodwill funds job training programs.
  3. These job training programs equip people with the skills needed to change their lives.
  4. Our community members eventually need to update their wardrobes and they donate their gently-used clothes, repeating the Goodwill Circle of Hope.

Goodwill South Texas is much more than just a thrift store. We’re a pivotal part of your neighborhood. We’re a community-based nonprofit with 25 locations across South Texas and are committed to changing lives through the power of work.

Need more convincing?

In this post, we’ll talk about:

  • What happens when you donate to Goodwill
  • Our job training programs and our job placement services
  • How Goodwill has been recycling before it was cool
  • When you should donate clothes
  • What you should donate, and what should you throw away
  • Where do your donated clothes and other items go

Are you ready to make the most of your donations? Let’s get started!

What Happens When You Donate to Goodwill?

Goodwill is a non-profit organization, meaning it doesn’t earn any profits for its owners. Instead, around 93% of Goodwill’s revenue goes towards job training programs and placement services.

To put it another way, if you donate five articles of clothing at roughly the same value, the revenue made from four of those pieces directly goes toward helping people acquire important job skills and secure and maintain employment. This includes veterans, low-income families, people with disabilities, and those with criminal backgrounds.

Here are a few of the training programs and placement services your used clothes can help raise funds for:

Goodwill Employment Services:

Goodwill provides South Texans with the training and employment tools they need to help them reach their fullest potential. Here are a few of the programs:

Veterans Services

Thanks to your donations, we provide free digital skills training for veterans, dependents, and surviving spouses. They can earn certificates in:

  • Basic computer skills
  • Keyboarding
  • Microsoft Word
  • Windows 10
  • Using Email
  • Internet Basics

Let’s Get Back to Work

Let’s Get Back to Work is a digital skills program designed to give people the skills they need to get a good job in a post-pandemic world.

This program is for anyone looking for employment, no matter their reason. Whether you’ve just graduated high school or college, recently released from prison, or are currently unemployed or underemployed, Let’s Get Back to Work can help you acquire the training you need to succeed.

Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator

In 2017, Google partnered with Google to help Americans learn digital skills. In May of this year, Google announced a $14 million renewal of their partnership to help empower underserved people wanting higher-paying jobs.

Goodwill Has Been Recycling Before It Was Cool

Did you know that Goodwill has been reducing, reusing, and recycling for over 100 years? We’ve been green long before it was cool–before the first Earth Day, even. In 2021, 24,520,000 pounds of material were donated to Goodwill and kept out of landfills

Now that you know how your clothing donations (and other items) can make a difference, let’s talk about when you should be donating…

When Should You Donate Clothes?

There’s always a good reason to donate clothing! Americans donate around 4.7 billion pounds of clothing every year.

Here are a few occasions when donating clothes makes sense:

When You’ve Outgrown Your Clothes

If something doesn’t fit right, it doesn’t belong in your closet. There’s no harm in keeping a few outfits handy when you fluctuate from a few pounds. However, you probably will not be wearing those jeans from high school anytime soon.

If you’re unsure how attached you are to an item, put it in a garment bag for a few months. If you completely forget about it, donate it!

When Your Style Has Evolved

What you wear reflects your style and personality. Sometimes, we tend to gravitate towards new trends or rediscover some old ones. While some pieces never truly go out of style, almost everyone has a few outfits collecting dust in the back of their closets.

As a rule of thumb, if you haven’t worn an article of clothing in over a year, and it’s not something you’d only wear on special occasions (e.g. a tuxedo, professional clothing, or an ugly Christmas sweater), it’s time to donate it!

When You’re Moving

Moves always put items like clothing to the test. As you pack everything up, you have to ask yourself, “Should I keep this, or is it time to donate it?”

If they’re in good condition, Goodwill and other thrift stores will gladly accept clothing donations!

When You Have Too Many Clothes

We all know people who seem to have more clothes than a library does books. You might be that person!

If you ever find yourself staring at your clothes and think you don’t have anything to wear, you probably have too many of the wrong clothes. If you own clothing for more than a year that you’ve only worn once or not at all, then it’s probably not for you. Donate it!

What Should You Donate and What Should You Throw Away?

Before you donate your old clothes, you must identify what someone can wear again, and what should be thrown away. Here are a few tips to help you determine which shoes, coats, t-shirts, and other clothes fall into which category:

Acceptable Donations

If an item still looks new or it is gently used (meaning it doesn’t have any holes, tears, or stains) then it’s acceptable for donating.

Goodwill of South Texas gladly accepts:

  • Men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing
  • Ties, shoes, and belts
  • Formal attire that you’ll never wear again
  • Furniture in good condition
  • Electronics still in good working condition
  • Games and books
  • Computers and computers accessories in working or non-working condition (learn more about the Dell Reconnect program https://goodwillsouthtexas.com/dell-reconnect/

Please wash any clothes, clean any furniture, and check to ensure your games and electronics are in working order before you donate them to Goodwill.

Unacceptable Donations

Not everything should be donated. If your items are holey, torn, stained, or broken, just throw them away. Here are a few other examples of unwearable clothing and other unacceptable donations:

  • Underwear–even if they’re clean
  • Items that smell funny
  • Large appliances
  • Broken, torn, wet, or soiled goods
  • Tires
  • Mattresses or box springs
  • Household cleaners, chemicals, or pesticides
  • Other perishable household items

Donation Tips

To ensure we receive your donated items, we have a few helpful tips for you to consider:

  • Goodwill stores and donations stations are open 7 days a week. Drop off donations during business hours.  Believe it or not, some people steal items that are donated after hours.
  • While we accept donations of large furniture, please drop them off at a Goodwill store and not a Goodwill donation station.
  • Goodwill provides a donation receipt.  However, according to IRS regulations, establishing a dollar value on donated item(s) is the exclusive responsibility of the donor.

Where Do Your Donated Clothes and Other Items Go?

Your donated clothing and household items get around! If you’ve ever wondered what happens to those donated shoes or the other items you put in a box, here’s where items donated to Goodwill go:

Goodwill Retail Stores

The first stop on your donated items’ journey is a Goodwill retail store. In South Texas, they most likely found themselves on the shelves at one of our 19 locations where they’ll hopefully find a second home.

Goodwill Clearance Stores

If your items spend four weeks on the retail shelves and still haven’t found a home, they’ve move to a second destination: the Goodwill clearance store.

At a clearance store, you’re encouraged to buy in bulk and save! Pricing is by the pound, and sometimes there are some fantastic finds at the bottom of our bins, so be prepared to go digging!

Goodwill Online

Not every item will end up in a clearance store. Sometimes we sell donated items online instead! Check out our local online store at ShopGoodwill.com, where there’s always a great treasure waiting to be found.

Where to Donate Clothes: Goodwill of South Texas

The next time you’re spring cleaning, moving, or just trying to figure out where to donate clothes, choose a Goodwill location near you. You may not think much of the box of items that are not making it into your next home, but your donations change lives!

And while you’re dropping off your donations, come in and shop a while. You never know what you’ll find at a Goodwill store.