I try to teach my boys about being kind to others. I want them to know the value of being generous and caring and I want them to understand that not everyone is fortunate. We make a point of doing things like holding elevators for moms with strollers and doors for the elderly. We also regularly donate clothes and books they’ve outgrown to charities like Goodwill. In fact, Goodwill is our favourite for three main reasons:
1. The organization provides skills development for people facing barriers to employment. For instance, did you know that one bag of donated goods translates into one hour of career counselling? Two hours of donated books equals two hours of on-the-job training. Over 12,000 people used Goodwill’s employment services last year and 73 percent of these people successfully got a job.
2. Donations to Goodwill help the community and even the environment. The statistics speak for themselves: Goodwill employs over 600 people in 15 community stores and 11 donation centres across Toronto, Eastern, Central and Northern Ontario. Over 1.4 million people shopped at Goodwill last year. Donations ensure that millions of pounds of used goods are kept out of landfills each year. Last year, Goodwill diverted over 38 million pounds from landfills.
Goodwill gives me the chance to contribute a range of household items that other organizations won’t always accept like, accessories, shoes, kitchen items, household decor, kids games and puzzles, picture frames and even mirrors. This really gives me and my kids the chance to go around our house and contribute all kinds of things that we may not need but that others do.
We have learned from experience that the process of donating can be tricky. If you’re looking around your house for things to contribute, here are some things to keep in mind:
Use heavy-duty plastic bags, like GLAD, so that your bag doesn’t rip open when it’s full. This has happened to me many times and boy, is it frustrating!
Make your kids part of the process. Yes, it’s faster to do it yourself, but this denies your kids the chance to feel like they’re doing something good for others. Take the time to explain why you’re donating items and praise them for showing kindness and generosity. You also want to be sure that you don’t inadvertently donate an item they treasure.
Incorporate donating into your regular routine. Kids grow so quickly and I often find that mine grow out of shoes and clothes after just a couple of wears. If you really look, you’ll find decor that you don’t use and kids games that haven’t even been opened. This is a great opportunity for you and your kids to really make a difference.
To help you with this endeavour, Goodwill and GLAD are teaming up in Toronto and the GTA to help drive donations for their Donate4Good program. To that end, GLAD is donating $10,000 and 10,000 black plastic bags to help corral your donatable items. GLAD will be at five select Loblaws locations across Toronto on weekends from August through to October to pick up donations. Certain neighbourhoods will also have door-to-door bag deliveries to help you prepare before your local Loblaws drop-off date. For every Glad bag returned with clothing and other gently used items, Glad will donate $1.50 to Goodwill (up to a maximum of $8,000).
For more information visit www.goodwill.on.ca