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Thrifting at Goodwill can elevate your Thanksgiving decor and reduce the stress of the holidays

The purpose behind Thanksgiving is to spend time with loved ones — not to stress over holiday entertaining and table decor.

Shopping at Goodwill Central Coast can alleviate the strain on your mind — and your pocketbook. It’s the perfect place to turn marked-down castoffs into classy, chic, fall-themed decor.

Savvy Goodwill shoppers have always found it exciting to see what’s new, and what’s possible to make out of items donated by others. It’s the epitome of responsible upcycling since money through the sale of donated goods helps support and grow Goodwill’s critical community-based programs and services. The bottom line? The environmental and social impacts cannot be denied.

Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • For cohesive Thanksgiving decor, pick a simple theme to help guide the design. Whether it’s country farmhouse, shabby chic, or simply elegant, make sure it complements your style and the rest of your home.
  • A popular decorating trick involves giving plain florist vases a new look with multi-surface craft paints. The painted vases look good on their own, or with the addition of flameless candles.
    Baskets add a great natural texture to any table. You can paint them (or part of them for a fun pop of color), or fill them with fresh or dried flowers, or go cornucopia-style with fresh fruits, gourds and greenery.
  • Artificial flowers and leaves are always an inexpensive find, and can become instantly chic when you coat them with metallic spray paint.
  • Natural candles add immediate warmth to any space. You can dress up your holiday tapers by placing them in a narrow glass, then filling in the gaps with whole nuts or small river stones. A strip of burlap and ribbon complete the look.
  • Wooden bowls, trays or plates always come in handy, and can be elevated with used, hardcover books that you can cover with a sheet of pretty fall-themed wrapping paper. Tip: Paint the front edges of the books with colorful craft paint for a vintage look.
  • When throwing a dinner party, consider sending out paper invitations that will offer guests something tangible in anticipation of the event. Goodwill has lots of crafting supplies that can inspire you when creating your own invitations.
  • Thrifting dinnerware from Goodwill is an inexpensive way to provide a unique table setting. And if you lack seating, consider purchasing colorful benches and old chairs to create a whimsical, mix-and-match look.
  • Stock up on critical kitchen tools and accessories with reasonably priced items at Goodwill — from skillets to knives to wine glasses.

Goodwill Central Coast Launches ‘Where Is Koko?’ Campaign; Spot Koko in a Goodwill Store, Win a Prize

Goodwill Goes to The Dogs This Halloween with Who Wore it Best Dog Costume Contest Launching Oct. 14, 2019

SALINAS, CA. (Aug. 9, 2019) — Goodwill Central Coast goes to the dogs this fall with its “Where is Koko?” campaign and during Halloween, with its Who Wore it Best Dog Costume Contest.

Salinas rescue dog Koko is Goodwill Central Coast’s pet ambassador and she will pop up from time to time at any one of the 15 Goodwill stores on the Central Coast. Spot Koko (or at least a lifesize cutout of her!), notify the manager and the spotter wins a $5 PAWESOME buck to use at Goodwill. Koko will also pop up on Goodwill Central Coast social media. The first person to name the location of the Goodwill store she is at receives a $5 PAWESOME buck to shop. Be sure to follow Goodwill Central Coast on Facebook and Instagram.

The “Where is Koko?” campaign launches Tuesday, Aug. 20, and runs through Dec. 31, 2019.

Goodwill loves Halloween and with that in mind is hosting a Who Wore It Best Dog Costume Contest from Oct. 14 – Nov. 2. Enter your DIY costume by 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 2, on our social media sites for a chance at awesome grand prizes, as well as two weeks of daily giveaways on Goodwill’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

Vote on what dog you think wore their costume best on social media, and you could help them win Goodwill bucks just for voting and the winner of the contest will receive a $100 gift certificate to Goodwill and a one-night stay in a dog-friendly room at the Hofsas House Hotel in Carmel-by-the-Sea (holidays do not apply, subject to availability) and a $100 gift certificate to Tarpy’s Roadhouse to enjoy Sunday brunch, lunch or dinner on their dog-friendly patio. Use the hashtag #GoodwillHLWN.

Goodwill encourages people to upcycle from Goodwill and use the items found at Goodwill to create Halloween costumes both for themselves and their four-legged companions.

Upcycle For Your Four-Legged Friends!

Since pets are members of the family, too, it only makes sense that we want to pour as much effort into their needs as we do into our own. That means that we’re often tempted to customize their accessories to suit their furry little personalities. So, here are some drool-worthy doggy decor and dressings made from Goodwill finds!

Do you have some old sweaters that are sitting in your wardrobe for a long time, either because they are out of fashion or don’t fit anymore? If they are still in good conditions, why not upcycle them into something useful?

Big ugly dog beds can be such an eyesore, but owners often cringe to think that their darlings have to curl up on the hard floor. What’s a person to do? Well, make a place for Rover to sleep that looks as cute as it does cozy.

For inspiration, check out this round-up put together by blogger Landeelu:

Also, look for colorful Goodwill sweaters for this project at

There are plenty of options for dog collars out there, but they all mostly follow the same bland design — nylon webbing with a plastic buckle. If the color and pattern variation of that sort of collar have never been stylish enough for your best friend, why not dress up their dog tags with a fancy DIY collar?

Make your mutt his or her own quirky collar by shopping the kids’ section of Goodwill in search of a button-down shirt in a pattern you like. Snip out the collar of the shirt, attach tags, and button it around your pup’s neck!

Some ideas for your dog collar:

Doggy decor is a fun way to capture our love of our best friends within the context of our homes. As you browse Goodwill’s shelves on your next visit, keep a look out for figurines of your favorite breed. And don’t let a terrible paint job stop you! Thrifted finds can be quickly covered up with a fresh color for customized decor.

While you shop for project supplies, don’t forget that your support helps Goodwill organizations change lives by training unemployed or underemployed people for careers in fields such as automotive services, construction, health care, information technology, manufacturing, hospitality and retail as well as in other high-demand industries. So, have fun with your dog-themed DIYs as you and your pup benefit your local community.

Goodwill Central Coast Opens Salinas Outlet

July 20, 2017 

The Goodwill Central Coast’s The Bargain Barn recently moved to 1566 Moffett St. in Salinas after four decades in Santa Cruz.

Unlike Goodwill stores, where all items have price tags, outlet stores move merchandise quickly, selling everything (except furniture) by the pound. The Salinas outlet store will sell its merchandise for $1.79 a pound.

Merchandise that doesn’t sell by the pound goes through Goodwill’s recycling process with the majority of it being salvaged and repurposed. Furniture and other bulky items still have price tags, but will also be clearance-priced in order to sell quickly.

Read the full article »

Goodwill Central Coast Holding Groundbreaking Ceremony for New Headquarters Location

Construction to commence on larger and more centralized headquarters in Salinas, CA

SALINAS, CA – Goodwill Central Coast is celebrating the start of construction on their new Salinas Headquarters with a ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, December 15 at 9:00 a.m. Attendees are invited to conduct interviews and enjoy refreshments provided by the Goodwill Culinary Academy.

Relocating from Santa Cruz to Salinas, the new headquarters will be a safer, larger and more efficient space designed to be barrier free for all current and future employees. Plans for the Salinas property include newly remodeled administrative offices, a salvage center, a donation center and an outlet store. At 98,000 square feet, the new facility will be more than double the size of the existing headquarters.

This relocation will provide opportunity to increase Goodwill Central Coast’s employee base in a more centralized location. All employees who work at the current headquarters have been offered jobs in Salinas or at other sites in Santa Cruz County.

“This move will not only benefit our employees but will, logistically, give us a better position to serve the three counties of the Central Coast,” Goodwill Central Coast CEO Ed Durkee said. “We will be creating more positions within our organization, improving our employee’s work environment and getting closer to our vision of thriving communities that are powered by economic opportunity and growth.”

The new headquarters will be located at 1566 Moffett Street in Salinas CA, and is scheduled to be completed in summer 2017. For more information on Goodwill Central Coast, visit

Goodwill expands operations to better serve Central Coast communities

March 1, 2016

(Recording courtesy of KSCO)


Goodwill Central Coast announced Thursday a host of capital investments designed to enhance efficiency and worker safety, renovate retail stores and relocate the organization’s headquarters and central donation processing facility from Santa Cruz to Salinas. Listen to the KSCO interview with CEO Ed Durkee, as he discusses what impact this will have on the organization and what this will mean for the Central Coast communities that Goodwill serves.

Goodwill unveils Goodwill Central Coast name change

May 13, 2015

(Photo: Jay Dunn/The Salinas Californian)

In a brief ceremony Wednesday, Goodwill unveiled its new logo, simpler name and rebranding strategy to employees gathered for a special lunch at 1325 N. Main St. in Salinas.

Goodwill’s Denise Byrne said before the event, “The idea is to be clear that our ultimate goal is to create jobs, and to be as inclusive as possible of the local communities that donate to us.”

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Goodwill computers aid nearly 12,000 job hunters on Central Coast

February 23, 2015

Santa Cruz Sentinel logo

In a world where employers expect job hunters to apply online, job seekers lacking a home computer can’t search the Internet for job postings, but a local nonprofit is trying to level the playing field.

Goodwill’s Neighborhood Career Center, 350 Encinal St., will host a Workforce Santa Cruz County job fair 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. More than 15 employers have 300 jobs to fill; most demand online applications.

“I see firsthand how important technology has become to the job search,” said Wil Moore, Goodwill’s director of workforce development services for Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. “A large percent of Central Coast job seekers don’t have computers or software to perform their job search, resume and application functions required to apply for jobs.”

Goodwill offers classes in office skills, medical office training and computer applications, along with situational assessment, vocational exploration and placement assistance.

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