Why I Don’t Give to Goodwill
I’m not a fan of Goodwill, but I will acknowledge there are ways that they help communities. Such as providing low-cost goods and work experiences to those with special needs, and contributing to programs like Habitat for Humanity.
But, for me, when there is an opportunity to help a family in need more directly, I take that road first.
What does that mean?
Well, for starters, I call the local shelters and ask if they have families that could use any of the items we have to give, I call churches and local organizations that contribute to improving life on the reservations and I keep in mind any individuals who I personally know are hurting.
If you volunteer at a local organization, that’s a much better bet. You can see how they operate. Take note of whether they “skim of the top,” a common practice in organizations that collect goods for the needy. By understanding more about the organization you’re donating to, you can ensure that families are getting access to the goods you donate.
My Experience with Goodwill
My biggest reason for this is my own experience as a child of poverty in a family that had difficulty in even keeping food on the table. We could not afford to purchase clothes, shoes, blankets and most definitely not presents for the holidays.
A trip to Goodwill was something that I was grateful for, but at the same time, it was a reminder of what we did not have. While other families could afford three dollars for some clothes and other goods, my family could not…even that little, we could not.
It was hard to watch families shop at their leisure and walk away with so many items we could not afford, in a place that claimed to help the poor. I’m sorry, but the poorest families shouldn’t come last.
For that reason I give…the old fashioned way, with no strings attached.
Give with Intention
I appreciate the things that Goodwill does for some middle and lower income families who may not have the resources to shop at retail stores. For them, Goodwill can be a great help and I don’t knock that.
But for families who truly have nothing, Goodwill is far beyond their reach. Goodwill is not the preferred option if your goal is to help the most needy in our country.
So, before you make a pit stop at the Goodwill, I just want to encourage givers to also consider volunteering in your community, or contacting local shelters and human service agencies to inquire about giving to those who are in dire need.
It may take some extra effort on our part, but it’s worth it to know that someone’s children will be fed, someone’s grandmother will have a warm blanket and someone’s mother or father will be clothed.
Consider volunteering somewhere or giving to a smaller organization this year. Learn about them. Find out how they give and who they give to. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
This way, when you give, you’re doing it with intention. ❤