Top 10 Things to Donate Before Year’s End

Make an impact by donating everything from computers to clothes.


Goodwill is encouraging Americans to commit to donating 10 items before the end of 2012 that can help those in need.

During this busy and celebratory time of year, donating used good is the easiest, most affordable and one of the most efficient ways to help.

“In a season when many of us are focused on gift buying, many Americans are also just as interested in giving back,” said Shannon Halverson of Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois. “Even if funds are tight, people can give back by donating gently used items to Goodwill.”

“We take everything from unwanted holiday sweaters to computers and laptops — even gift cards,” Halverson said. “At Goodwill, we turn these items into something very real: job training, employment placement services and other community-based programs for people who have disabilities, those who lack education or job experience, and others who face challenges to finding employment.”

With just a few weeks left in 2012, Goodwill asks Americans to commit to donating 10 items by December 31 to local Goodwill stores.

Goodwill has stores in Huntley at 11900 Kreutzer Road; in Carpentersville at 7777 Miller Road (next to Woodman's); and in McHenry at 2006 N. Richmond Rd.

Among Goodwill’s top 10 goods that can be donated:

10. Computers: At the end of their useful life computers can be donated at your local Goodwill store FREE OF CHARGE and recycled via Goodwill’s Dell Reconnect partnership. Donors should be sure to delete personal data before donating.

9. Kitchenware: Receive something new for the kitchen during the holidays? Your old gently used kitchenware can be donated to Goodwill. To find the donation site in your community, go to www.goodwillni.org.

8. Video Games: A donation of 10 video games can provide 47 minutes of on-the-job training for someone like Jessie, who dropped out of school but found a green job and got back on track educationally thanks to a Goodwill job training program.

7. Books: Upgrade from paperbacks to a Kindle or iPad this year? Donating 15 books can provide 26 minutes of career counseling for a veteran like Richard, a Marine Corps veteran who struggled to find employment after being honorably discharged from the military.

6. CDs: If all of your songs are saved on hard drives and mp3 players, do you really need those hundreds of old CDs that are taking up space in the back of your closet? It may be time to donate them.

5. Cell phones: Unused cell phones are one of the fastest-growing types of trash in America. Instead of discarding your old phone, recycle or donate it. Goodwill has partnered with Cell Phones for Soldiers and uses your old cell phones to help soldiers call home for free. Each donated phone provides 2.5 hours of free talk time.  Donors should be sure to delete personal data before donating.

4. Household items: It’s time to give that lamp a new life. Lamps, frames, vases, curios, baskets, and collectibles are just a few of the many items that you can donate to Goodwill.

3. Bikes: Yes, Goodwill takes big-ticket items like bikes. When your children have outgrown theirs, or you’ve moved on to a new bike, consider donating.

2. Gift Cards: Billions of dollars in holiday gift cards go unused every year. You can donate an unwanted gift card — with any unused amount on it — to your local Goodwill.

1. Clothes: Suits, pants, dresses, shirts. You name it, we’ll take it. Donating clothes not only funds job training programs, but also provides new outfits for the job seekers Goodwill serves.


Donating used goods of all kinds provides valuable services to millions of people every year. At the Donate Movement website (http://donate.goodwill.org), consumers can calculate the impact each donation will have in terms of job training, career counseling, financial education programs and more.


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