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Local residents share good will with Goodwill

by: submitted photo Donation attendant Beyene Nega helps Daron Ryan, of Lake Oswego, unload bags of donations at the Lake Oswego Goodwill center.

Some local families drove to the local Goodwill donation site on State Street in the past month bearing boxes and bags for charity.

The donations are appropriate for this season in a number of ways: Donors who rushed to the drop site in December were looking for ways to end the year with a tax deduction, but those who donate in January are often looking for a way to begin a new year with less clutter.

Both months are strong months for Goowhill, said spokesperson Dale Emanuel.

The Lake Oswego site is one of the most active sites for Goodwill Industries of the Columbia Willamette region. According to Emanuel, by the end of the year, the site collected more than 6.9 million pounds of donations - a 12 percent increase from last year.

Goodwill estimates that it set a record of 172 million pounds of donations throughout the Pacific Northwest.

'Lake Oswego in particular is a unique site not only in the amount but it's our site that is cherry picked for two boutiques,' said Emanuel.

Two Portland boutique Goodwill stores at SW 10th and SW Taylor and SE 35th and SE Hawthorne - which just opened last year - carry the most valuable donations from the Lake Oswego site.

This year, store managers said that they received a purple Prada vest that retailed for $1,500 that was sold for $250, a mounted platinum record of Hootie and the Blowfish, shoes by Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney and Stewart Weitzman, Coach, Dolce and Gabbana handbags and 42-inch working LED flat screen televisions.

'We go through that site in particular because of the sheer volume and the high volume,' said Emanuel.

Whatever doesn't go to those two stores is sent to other Goodwill stores near the donation site.

Since many donors save their most valuable donations for the end of the year, thrifty shoppers should take note: January and February are a great time to shop at Goodwill.

'The sale of donations, 94-cents on the dollar, fuels all our programs for people with barrier to employment,' said Emanuel.

Unfortunately, the demand for the community-based job service programs is up 30 percent from this time last year, putting a strain on the money raised.

But in Lake Oswego, the impact of the donations is maximized because of their value, said Emanuel.

This year, the programs helped to serve more than 34,000 individuals in the region. The money funds employment, job placement and vocational training programs.

For more information, visit www.meetgoodwill.org.