What Happens to Your Goodwill Donations?

By: Deneige Broom Email
By: Deneige Broom Email

When people are in the giving spirit , or are just cleaning out their closets, many chose to donate to Goodwill. But what actually happens with all of those donations that pour in?

The Goodwill warehouse on Mabry Street in Tallahassee stays stocked with donations.

But only about 50 percent of what people give away makes it to the store.

"The 50 percent that we don't put in the stores have tears or they're soiled or maybe just so out of style that nobody would want them," Fred Shelfer, Goodwill's President and CEO.

Goodwill then sells the fabric as salvage on an international rag market.
About 10 million pounds of clothes are shipped out each year and Goodwill in return gets 15 cents for every pound.

The 50 percent that does make it to the show room floor gets priced and is ready to go.

Shelfer says most items are priced at 50 percent of their retail value or a flat unit price for clothing.
But even then, two thirds of the items still aren't sold.

After three weeks in the main store, they make their way to the "Good Cents Store" in another part of the warehouse.

There shoppers can sift through the items and pay a flat rate for every pound.

When those things are left, Shelfer says donations still aren't thrown away.

"We sell everything. It's either sold in the store or it's salvaged. Which means it's sold to someone but it may be to South America or Africa when it gets to the final user.

The non-profit says the income from donations pays for the wages and services they provide.

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