Beat year-end rush, donate to Goodwill before Christmas

Staff Reports • Updated Dec 6, 2016 at 3:00 PM

Middle Tennessee residents can help their communities and themselves by donating gently used clothing and household goods to Goodwill before Christmas to beat the annual year-end rush. 

Each year from Dec. 26-31, the number of donations at Goodwill donation express centers rises dramatically. In 2015, donations on these six days rose by more than 50 percent compared to other days of the year. 

Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee depends on the surge of donations  – as well as other donations given throughout the year – to fund its mission of changing lives through education, training and employment. Each year, thousands of people in communities across Middle and West Tennessee benefit from Goodwill’s free services.

The end-of-year donation rush is prompted in part by people cleaning out their closets, attics and garages to make room for holiday gifts. But many donors also are seeking last-minute tax deductions. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind when donating to Goodwill:

• prepare an inventory of 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 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 will also be 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. 

 There are more than 70 donations express centers located throughout the 48-county territory, and most are open seven days a week. Locations and hours can be found 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.


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