Each year from Dec. 26-31, the number of donations to Goodwill of gently used clothing and household goods rises dramatically, in part because of people cleaning out their closets, attics and garages to make room for holiday gifts. Many donors also seek last-minute tax deductions. In 2015, donations on these six days rose by more than 50 percent compared to other days of the year.
Goodwill depends on its donors and shoppers to fund its mission of changing lives through education, training and employment. Thousands of people in communities across Middle and West Tennessee benefit each year from Goodwill’s free services.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when donating to Goodwill:
• Prepare an inventory of your items to be donated before going to Goodwill. The IRS allows a deduction for each item, but it is up to the donor to estimate each item’s value.
• When decluttering a home, consider the one-year rule. If it hasn’t been worn, used or played with in one year, it is probably time to donate it.
• Donors wishing to claim tax deductions for their donations can easily do so at mygoodwilldonation.org, or they can request a paper receipt from the attendant when dropping off their donations.
• Please remove hangers from clothing.
• Anyone with a single donation worth more than $500 will need to complete IRS Form 8283. A qualified written appraisal is also needed.
• Be certain to donate to a legitimate charity. Resources for research include the Tennessee secretary of state’s office and charity-rating agencies such as GuideStar.
Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee has 80 donations express centers throughout its 48-county territory, most of which are open seven days a week. Locations and hours can be found online at giveit2goodwill.org, under the “donate” tab.
For nearly 60 years, Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee has provided job training and job placement free of charge to people with disabilities or other barriers to employment through the sale of donated items. In 2015, Goodwill served 36,081 people in Middle and West Tennessee and placed 15,412 people in jobs. For more information about Goodwill’s Career Solutions, retail stores and donation centers, visit giveit2goodwill.org or call 800-545-9231.