Giving is gratitude: Feel the power behind your donations that spark change

“No one has ever become poor by giving.”

— Anne Frank


A mere teenager when she died, the German-born Jewish girl kept a diary that documented life in hiding under Nazi persecution. Wise beyond her years, the celebrated diarist realized that humans lose nothing when they give with an open heart.

Giving is gratitude

The act of giving alone makes us more thankful. It’s not just the receiver who feels good, but the giver as well. The more we give, the more grateful we become, and the more grateful we become, the more we want to give. It’s a nurturing cycle that endlessly feeds itself!

At Goodwill Central Coast we look upon the act of giving as a soaking rain. It nourishes everything it touches. It flows into rivers and streams, eventually making its way back to the ocean. Then it becomes rain, giving back to itself over and over again.

That’s a great metaphor for GCC’s circular economy — turning donations into life-changing employment that in turn fuels the local economic engine while extending the life cycle of reusable goods to help protect our planet. Now that’s a game-changer!

Remember, by donating, we reduce the need for someone else to buy it new — saving our natural resources. With a network of donation centers and retail stores, GCC isn’t just about giving items a second chance; it’s about extending opportunities to individuals seeking a fresh start.

To get you on your way toward helping spin this circular economy, we offer the following helpful tips on keeping the donation process stress-free:

  • Get organized: It’s worth your time to go through closets, drawers and storage areas in your home before donating anything. In the kitchen, check to see if you have duplicates of items you don’t use, including pots and pans and cooking utensils. You may be surprised by how many whisks or wine glasses you have. Check your linen closet and bathroom storage for extra towels and personal care tools (such as a hair dryer or straightener). In your closet, be bold in deciding what you no longer wear — chances are, if it’s been a year since you’ve put something on, it’s really not an important part of your wardrobe. But it can be for someone else! And remember, removing extra items you don’t need anymore will free up space for things you need in the future.
  • Package things that belong together in the same container. Donating a pair of shoes or a set of dishes? Keep the pairs or sets from getting separated by putting them in one container.
  • Look into other donation options. GCC offers free home pickup for donations of multiple items in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. For more information call 1-800-894-8440. To see if your donation qualifies for a home pickup, just email photos of the items you would like picked up along, along with your address and telephone number, to A scheduling manager will review your request and get back to you within one business day.
  • Go green. Pack up your donations in reusable containers. You can empty your items into bins at the store — no need for bags or boxes.
  • Check your donated items! Be sure pant pockets are free of receipts and computers are wiped clean.
  • Beat the rush. Donate during off-hours and weekdays to avoid long lines at the door. Check out our donation center directory here.


Change begins with you

In every community, change begins when just one person steps forward — because generosity is contagious. When we say we have to start “somewhere,” that somewhere could be exactly where we are right now.

Begin with yourself, because change begins with you.

Think of abundance as a mental state. If you have little money to give, offer a skill set or volunteer your time and energy. Abundance is not solely about having enough money or resources; you can be abundant in your time, your creativity, or your energy. Because when you think you’re enough, you will always have enough. And you know that you can never be depleted.

That’s the beauty in the art of giving back — there’s nothing to lose when your sources are finite, but your way of thinking is infinite!

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