Second-hand Holiday Shopping Leads to The Gift of Employment — But It’s Also a Gift to The Planet

The most thoughtful gift-givers always spend time finding something unique and meaningful.

 With new items arriving daily, shoppers at Goodwill Central Coast can routinely sift through our shelves and racks to see what treasure they can unearth. This holiday season, finding something special might mean making a trip to one of our 16 stores throughout three counties. It’s where you’ll find tons of unique gifts that can inject a bit of magic into anyone’s holiday season.

Finding a special item at GCC represents three gifts in one. Every purchase helps us give the gift of employment to someone in our own community. Imagine someone beginning the New Year with the promise of a paycheck and the dignity that comes from self-sufficiency! It’s also a gift to the planet, as GCC works hard to keep thousands of tons of unwanted items out of our landfills, while creating upcycling opportunities in the process.

Here are some secondhand gift ideas that reveal the power of thrift:

  • Books: There’s something about browsing the book aisles at Goodwill. Because our books are donated, you’re guaranteed to find something you’ve never read before. From vintage finds, to cookbooks, to new best-selling hits, you can always find something the book lover in your life will love. You’d be surprised how many avid readers still love the feel of bound paper in their hands. A new report by Pew Research reveals that Generation Z (Gen Z) — those born between 1997 and 2015 — overwhelmingly prefer reading books in print, disproving the common assumption that this generation are digital-first.
  • Board games: Don’t miss our selection of retro board games. You might find classics such as Sorry!, Scattergories and Rummikub, some even in their original condition. Card games such as Old Maid and Go Fish are also a fun find and make a great stocking stuffer for younger kids, and allows families to gather for a bit of old-fashioned fun!
  • Jewelry: Earrings, necklaces and watches are all great Christmas gifts and you’ll find a wide selection at GCC. You may also find a vintage jewelry box that you can polish up or paint for a one-of-a-kind gift you can’t buy anywhere else. Jewelry is one of the easiest ways to tell a story. This holiday season, send a profound message through a thoughtful gift that spans generations. For higher-end jewelry, our online marketplace offers up a vast collection, from quaint, delicate necklaces to heirloom pieces that will really stand out.
  • A new outfit: When you buy thrifted clothes, you know that you won’t run into someone else on the street dressed the same! Mall stores sell in bulk, meaning hundreds of that same sweater go out the door each day. At GCC, with so much to choose from you’re sure to find something that everyone you’re buying for will love, no matter their size or style. Lacking inspiration? Try grabbing a clothing staple from your loved one, and match something to their own style, like a jacket, vest, blazer, pair of shoes, scarf, or purse.
  • Technology: Head to the back of the store and you might find some unique tech finds. GCC accepts the following electronics: functioning electric keyboards, personal computers, tablets, video games and consoles, cellular phones, flat screen televisions, stereos and speakers. With a bit of sleuthing, you can dig up items such as virtual reality headsets, monitors, mp3 players, USB fans, remote controlled cars, printer and network cables, shortwave radios and more.
  • Kitchen wares: For the bakers, chefs and entertainers on your list, check out the kitchen section. Popular items such as bowls, cake stands and platters are sure to be a hit. Or browse through the coffee cups to find the perfect, unique or funny mug. Tip: If you do find the perfect mug, fill it with a pre-packaged hot cocoa mix or your loved one’s favorite tea or coffee.
  • DIY it: With a little imagination (or some assistance from a Goodwill associate), you can come up with a unique gift from the heart. Is your friend into a specific band or sports team? Head to our stores and buy printed T-shirts to cut up and sew into a blanket. Or print out some memorable photos of the two of you and create a collage that would look great in an ornate frame from Goodwill. Or head to that fountain of inspiration at Pinterest and try one of these specific Goodwill DIY projects!
  • Brand-spanking new: Often people buy things in the wrong size or change their mind after making a purchase. And what do they do with something they don’t want or can’t use? They donate it to us! Walk through any of our retail stores and you’re bound to find a variety of donated items either still in their original boxes or with their original tags. They are a huge bargain for families wanting to stretch their dollar further. While some designer clothing and higher-end merchandise can still be found in our retail stores, if you are looking for something specific, be sure to check our online store at

Once you’ve scored on your thrifted item, wrap it up with a bow. It’s up to you if you want to reveal your secret shopping place, or just keep them guessing as to where you found such a cool gift.

We would appreciate you sharing your good fortune, allowing others to find the thrill of the thrift hunt, because more purchases mean more opportunities for those seeking employment.

So spread the news!

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