Celebrated the first week of May, Goodwill Week the perfect time to #sharethegood

Every year during the first full week of May, Goodwill organizations across the U.S. and Canada celebrate Goodwill Week to highlight the defining principle of our mission — transforming lives through the power of work.

The week celebrates a long history of lifting up others, beginning in 1902 when a Methodist minister from Boston named Edgar J. Helms established Goodwill. Helms saw the people of his city who had encountered seemingly insurmountable poverty and wanted to give them something more than just temporary relief in the form of a charitable handout. He wanted to give them the means to permanently change their lives through sustainable employment which would allow them to earn a paycheck while also building personal dignity.

Today Goodwill has grown into a network of 165 autonomous community-based organizations throughout the United States and Canada.  Each of these organizations offers customized training and education programs for people with disabilities and disadvantages as they work toward a common goal of providing those individuals with the tools they need to achieve self-sufficiency.

During Goodwill Week, we celebrate the power of work and Helm’s philosophy of “a hand up, not a handout.” It’s the perfect time to spread the word about Goodwill’s mission, which goes far beyond our retail stores and donation centers.

One way to join in by using the hashtag #sharethegood. Its purpose is to encourage Goodwill advocates and their social networks to communicate how they are sharing the good they are doing in the community, whether in direct support of Goodwill or another cause. The goal is to create a dialogue that will inspire others to take a proactive approach to social impact, no matter how big or how small the effort.

Sharing the thrill of thrift begins with encouraging others to join in the fun. Here are three ways to encourage friends and family to come along on the big hunt!

  1. Share your finds visually: Sometimes new thrift shoppers feel overwhelmed by the volume of items in the store. Or maybe they may not know how many fashionable items they can find at Goodwill. Sometimes you need to refresh the memory of your friends or family and be a visual reminder of why thrifting can be so great. If you love thrift shopping, there’s probably a dress, pair of shoes, pants, whatever it may be, that everyone just seems to love. This is your time to remind your loved ones that that stand out piece was found in the aisles of Goodwill. And it really helps if you can share a story or details about it: “I saw this same dress at the mall for $129 and I snagged it, tags still attached, for $29 at Goodwill!”
  2. The promise of a meal: It’s nearly impossible for anyone to turn down a good meal. Throwing in an offer of brunch, lunch or dinner makes any Goodwill shopping trip all the more enticing. Our Goodwill Central Coast stores are most often located in busy downtown districts dotted with restaurants. Open up Google Maps and start plotting your day.
  3. Tell them you need their sharp eye: Sometimes it’s just too intimidating for newbie thrifters to feel comfortable scouring the racks of Goodwill. Why not invite someone to thrift, but instead of shopping for themselves, tell them they’re helping you. Ask a friend to meet you at a convenient Goodwill location and say: “I really need your help finding me a black dress?” While they’re casually helping you find something, they tend to find something they love as well. It’s a simple, easy tactic to turn them on to thrifting and to educate them about all the benefits.

Sure, you can find great deals, but when thrifting newbies see all the good just one purchase can bring to their community, they will be a Goodwill fan for life.

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