From Dec. 26-31, the number of donations at Goodwill Donation Express centers in middle and west Tennessee rises by nearly 50 percent compared to other days of the year. The surge is prompted by people cleaning out their closets, attics and garages to make room for holiday gifts and to take advantage of tax deductions for charitable giving. But with more people focused on organizing their homes during the pandemic, this year’s rush could be even more intense.

“We are very thankful to all who donate this time of year. To accommodate the rush, we will be shifting staff to our busiest locations during that week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, but donors may encounter lines at that time,” said Goodwill Vice President of Donated Goods Leisa Wamsley. “We ask for their patience and also their assistance with our contact-free donation process.”

Donors arriving at Goodwill’s Donation Express Centers are asked to place their bags and boxes of donations into waiting rolling bins. Attendants are on hand to assist with furniture or other heavy or bulky items. Employees will be wearing masks and practicing social distancing, and donors are asked to do the same.

Other things to keep in mind when donating to Goodwill include:

  • When decluttering your home, consider the One-Year Rule: If you haven’t worn it, used it or played it in one year, it is probably time to donate it.
  • Please remove hangers from clothing.
  • Hours at Goodwill Donation Express Centers vary by location. Please only leave donations when an attendant is on duty.
  • Goodwill cannot accept some items, such as household chemicals and older, tube-style televisions. A list of some other items that can and cannot be accepted are on Goodwill’s website.
  • Goodwill’s donation receipt form includes a 20% off coupon for Goodwill stores.
  • You can track your donations for tax or other purposes at mygoodwilldonation.org.

The nonprofit organization relies on the year-end surge in donations — as well as other donations given throughout the year — to support its mission of changing lives through education, training and education. Goodwill gratefully accepts donations of new or gently used clothing, home goods and furniture. Donors should note that Goodwill does not repair items, and broken, torn or stained items cannot be sold in stores.

Goodwill also welcomes donations of vehicles and monetary gifts to support its nonprofit mission. Each year, thousands of people in communities across middle and west Tennessee benefit from Goodwill’s free services, ranging from job fairs at Career Solutions Centers to training in IT, construction, call center and forklift operation.

Donating to Goodwill not only helps people in the community, it also helps the environment. In 2019, Goodwill diverted more than 29 million pounds of useful materials from landfills through its recycling efforts.

There are more than 45 Donations Express Centers located throughout middle and west Tennessee, and most are open seven days a week. Locations, hours and much more information can be found online at www.giveit2goodwill.org.