What Will Goodwill Take in Donations?

by D. Laverne O'Neal
A lamp that is in good repair is an acceptable donation item.

Goodwill Industries is one of several large U.S. charities that accept in-kind donations from the public. The organization boasts retail locations that double as donation locations. It also positions drop-off boxes in convenient locations. In some metropolitan areas, Goodwill partners with a delivery provider for home pickup services. Goodwill resells donated goods in its stores, so it publishes guidelines on what it will and will not accept. In general, worn, tattered clothing and items that do not function will not make the cut.


Goodwill takes what it terms "lightly used" clothing for men, women and children. Accessories, such as jewelry, scarves, hats and purses, are also accepted, as are shoes and boots. The organization insists that you deliver only clean items. Through wrinkles are no problem, tears in the fabric, zippers that don't work and buttons that are missing render an item unsalable, so will not be accepted.


Furniture should also give the impression of being lightly used. A table whose surface is heavily scratched, for example, will not survive the screening process. Similarly, a lamp that does not turn on is of no use to the organization. However, Goodwill does accept lamps whose shades are missing. If your table, shelving or chair, for example, is lightly scratched, buffing and polishing to improve the appearance and condition before you donate is a good idea. In addition to tables, chairs and shelving, Goodwill takes bedframes, dressers, sofas and office furniture but no mattresses, sofa beds, water beds or infant furniture. It will accept pianos, organs and pool tables at stores only.

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If you're replacing your area rugs and window coverings for the sake of a change in decor, rather than due to wear, donating to Goodwill is a good way to dispose of them. Worn or sun-damaged items will not do. Cleaning housewares before donating is a requirement. Goodwill accepts blankets, comforters, curtains, draperies, area rugs, towels, sheets and even holiday decorations but not carpeting or blinds.


Refrigerators and other large appliances do not make the list, but computers, TVs, VCRs and DVD players, as well as CDs and DVDs themselves, are welcome. A donated electronic item, such as a portable music player, does not have to work to be accepted. Functioning small appliances, such as audio boomboxes and toaster ovens, are welcomed by the organization.

About the Author

D. Laverne O'Neal, an Ivy League graduate, published her first article in 1997. A former theater, dance and music critic for such publications as the "Oakland Tribune" and Gannett Newspapers, she started her Web-writing career during the dot-com heyday. O'Neal also translates and edits French and Spanish. Her strongest interests are the performing arts, design, food, health, personal finance and personal growth.

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