Most people know Goodwill for our donated goods retail stores. In fact, across the United States 82% of the population lives within 10 miles of a Goodwill location. So it’s natural that we celebrate National Thrift Shop Day, held on Saturday, August 17. But, did you know that here at Palmetto Goodwill over 90 cents of every dollar you spend at Goodwill goes back into local services that provide job placement and training programs? So the more you support us, the more we are able to support others in our community.
Goodwill programs help people find jobs and advance their career, and serves anyone facing challenges to finding employment, including people with disabilities, older workers and youth, veterans and military families and people reentering the workforce after incarceration. Palmetto Goodwill annually provides such services to over 15,000 people throughout our territory. In fact, last year alone we helped place 3,094 people into new jobs.
Thrifting at Goodwill is also an environmentally friendly way to build your wardrobe. On National Thrift Shop Day, we’re not only thankful for our shoppers, but also our donors. In 2018, Palmetto Goodwill received over 850,000 donations and diverted over 15 million pounds of reusable goods from area landfills. Without the support of our donors, the retail stores would not be successful and thus Goodwill entities like ours would not have funds available for mission services.
Donors are eligible to receive a charitable deduction for making a contribution to Goodwill, however recent changes in the tax law mean that fewer taxpayers are incentivized to give. GivingUSA found that charitable giving by individuals dropped an inflation-adjusted 3.4% in 2018. In addition, early estimates from other recent giving studies suggest that the overall growth in charitable giving has slowed.
These declines will no doubt negatively impact the charitable sector, particularly families, individuals, and communities who depend on the services provided by Goodwill and organizations.
Goodwill supports policies that incentivize charitable giving. Congress can reverse these trends by enacting a universal charitable deduction allowing all taxpayers an opportunity to deduct their charitable contributions. Shoppers, donors, employees, volunteers and program participants are great Goodwill advocates. With your help, we can better inform policymakers of our mission and advocate for public policies that help more communities and more people.
So please support your local Goodwill on National Thrift Shop Day and throughout the year. It’s good for you, our environment and our community.