Behind the scenes: The life of your Goodwill donation

DENVER--- It’s that time of year when many people are spring cleaning and finding themselves with extra things around the house they want to donate.

“We were cleaning out the garage and cleaning out the closets and we wanted to donate to a good cause,” said Jeff Huber as he dropped off items at the Goodwill in Stapleton.

Among Huber’s donated items was a suit he hopes could help someone land a job.

But before it can be bought his suit and other donations go through a process behind the scenes. 

“All of our donations are placed into these blue bins and once they’re full they are brought over here and they’re sorted,” said Goodwill spokesperson Jessica Hudgins Smith.

First the suit is sorted into a clothing pile where the items are separated by style and season.

Next it’s hung, and priced.

“Once all of our items are processed and tagged they’re tagged with certain colors, and each week gets a new color and that’s how we know how long an item has been on the store floor,” Smith said.

So next it’s off to the floor where the suit goes up on the rack.

Each week the suit’s yellow tag will get a little cheaper, but if it doesn’t sell in five weeks, it’s sent to a new store.

Anything that doesn’t sell in the main stores is taken to the Goodwill Outlet, where shoppers can buy in bulk by the pound.

A shopping experience at the Goodwill Outlet is a little different because you can’t touch anything until you get the green light.

And you never know what you’re going to find mixed in the bins.

The bins are replaced every hour and a half, and anything that doesn’t sell is taken to the back, sorted by material, and then recycled.

You can donate just about anything to Goodwill, and workers will give it a quick check to make sure it works.

But there are a few things you can’t donate.

Goodwill will not accept TVs because of the recycling costs, and baby car seats and strollers aren’t allowed because of so many recalls.

When cleaning out your closet this spring, remember that Goodwill loves getting business attire because many of its locations have a career development center which connects people in need with a job.

“92% of our revenue goes right back into our career development program, and just rest assured known that you are helping Goodwill,” Smith said. 

You'll find more information on what you can and can't donate here.


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