Good Tips

Tip #1 Don’t ditch your cell phone in the ditch.

In the state of California it is illegal to dispose of electronics in the trash. The hazardous chemicals and compounds found in cell phones, computers or stereo equipment include mercury, arsenic and lead, which, if not properly contained, can seep into the ground or be released into the air or water supply, posing potentially serious health threats. Fortunately, GSC recycles e-waste for free. Help keep our planet from turning into an e-wasteland by donating anything with batteries or a plug to a Goodwill retail store or attended donation center near you.

Tip #2 Clear out the toy closet before birthdays and holidays.

Help your kids experience the “feel good” effect of giving by having them donate some of their toys before a birthday, Hanukah or Christmas. Knowing that a whole new batch of goodies will be arriving soon, makes it a little easier for them to let go of things they may have outgrown.

Tip #3 Purge before you splurge.

We know that sometimes it’s hard to let go. But isn’t it a little easier when you know that what you give away will greatly benefit others? When you donate gently used household items, electronics, books and clothing to Goodwill Southern California, you’ll create a more open, inviting and productive space for yourself and your family, and help members of your community at the same time. Goodwill Southern California is also a great place to find organizational tools such as bins and baskets to keep your home clutter free all year. So try the one in, one out rule. For every item you purchase and bring in to your home, find something that you no longer love or need and donate it.

Tip #4 Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

When you are looking to de-clutter your home, pick one area or type of item at a time, otherwise the task can be overwhelming and stressful. For example, each month, plan to go through one closet or one dresser, top to bottom. Or, you may decide to go through all of the shoes in the house, or all of the electronics. It is much easier to stay on task when the goal is specific.

FAQs

How do I find a donation center near me?

To find your nearest location please visit here or call 888.4.Goodwill.

Why should I donate to my local Goodwill rather than another thrift store?

Goodwill offers a hand-up, not a hand-out, to individuals with disabilities and vocational disadvantages. Your donations help create jobs for thousands of people in need. And you can rest assured that the money we raise from retail sales, environmental business services, and financial gifts is put to good use throughout your local community. Charity Navigator awarded Goodwill Southern California its highest four-star ranking, for 14 consecutive years, largely due to the fact that we dedicate 92% of our budget to these vital employment services. When someone finds a job, they gain more than a paycheck. They gain a sense of pride, dignity and financial stability, and become productive, contributing members of the community. It’s a long-term and far-reaching solution to many of the problems our country faces today.

For-profit thrift stores sometimes arrange to use a charity’s name to collect donations in exchange for a flat fee or a percentage of sales. This is not often publicized, and that charity often makes less than 5 cents for every dollar spent.

And, you should always verify what organization operates a donation drop off box before you place your items in the box. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for a for-profit business to own drop off boxes that illegally use a charity name on the front of the box.

What items do you accept for donation?

See our Donation Guidelines for a list of acceptable and unacceptable donation items. We accept items that are in good condition and can be sold “as is.” We make the best use of items that are clean, complete and in sellable condition. We cannot accept items that are in need of repair, incomplete or in poor condition (although e-waste — anything with a battery or a plug — is accepted in any condition). We only accept items that comply with environmental hazard and public safety rulings. When hazardous chemicals or other dangerous materials are donated to Goodwill, they put staff members and the community at risk for exposure and potentially serious danger. Please think before you donate.

Do you accept financial donations?

We sure do! Though Goodwill Southern California is approximately 92 percent self-reliant, we depend on community support for the remainder of our operating budget, program expansions, and capital expenses, such as training tools and construction projects. In addition to cash gifts, we welcome investments in the form of bequests or memorials, life insurance, trust agreements, real estate, stocks or other securities. For details, please contact Theresa Farrell, Director, Major Gifts, 323.539.2110, tfarrell@goodwillsocal.org. Goodwill Southern California is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by federal and state law.

How do my donations help the environment?

The average American discards about 68 pounds of used clothing per year, which doesn’t include household items, accessories, furniture, e-waste or shoes that are also tossed into landfills on an annual basis. And clothing materials can take up to 50 years to decompose, while plastics and metals can take hundreds of years. With 15 percent of all garbage being made up of reusable items, it’s important for everyone to take stock before tossing the trash. Goodwill Industries International has been a pioneer in “reduce, reuse, and repurpose” since 1916, and has diverted almost 3 billion pounds of usable goods from landfills thanks to your generous donations.

What should I do with my cell phone before I donate or recycle it?

Prior to donating or recycling your cell phone, there are three things you need to do:

  • Terminate your service.
  • Clear the phone’s memory of contacts and other stored information.
  • Manually delete all information, and follow instructions from your wireless carrier or the product manual on how to conduct a factory hard reset; Use data erasing tools that are available on the web.
  • Remove your SIM card and shred or cut it in half. If you are not sure if your phone uses a SIM card or if you need assistance removing your SIM card, contact your service provider or manufacturer.