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Give Your Goodwill: Goodwill Industries

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Christmas is only seven shopping days away. Retailers entice with deals and discounts while we hurriedly race through malls and boutiques searching for the right gift for those we appreciate most. Good karma and a new view on how others are doing in the world we coexist in is typically high this season. Thinking of those special gifts we give and get just warms the human soul to the extent of bursting with the anticipation of the big day. How does someone give when there seems to be little time to tarry in this busiest of holidays? Personally, Goodwill Industries would be a great place to start.

Goodwill Industries is a thrift store that exists to benefit those in our communities across the country who are often forgotten about by the masses. These are the persons with disabilities and other intellectual challenges that truly make life's basic experiences like finding and retaining employment difficult. Too many times are the disabled offered no more than the pity of the world, instead of having someone reach out to them to provide the resources to assist them as individual independent persons. Without the goals of service charities such as the Goodwill Industries, there would not be as positive of an outlook for a brighter future for the challenged.

Perhaps my view on giving to Goodwill stems from my intellectually challenged son. Sometimes events in one's life create a true barometer to measure what matters and what could be left behind. After Tyler was diagnosed with Autism, I started to question many things and felt that there had to be a logical reason that would take some intense figuring out and time to locate. Inside, the old person that cared so much about the mirror and fashionable lifestyle melted a bit and was replaced by someone much more compassionate and aware of the plight of those who live with atypical circumstances. Truly, that someone became me overnight. Many times that someone is another person's life and not ours, so it distances the bond between people and the ones who live without fanfare and predictable outcomes. Looking through a closed window is certainly most comfortable of a view, but doesn't touch those that need a human connection.

Goodwill Industries became a place to drop off things I no longer needed and also a place to think of where my son could be assisted at some later time in his life. Everyone grows up, and the quality of life could be at jeopardy without funding for special needs adults who simply need some place to call a day's work. There is no replacement for the sense of accomplishment. Thinking of this makes my outlook brighter for my son and everyone who possesses a different beautiful gift. The planet is made better with their diversity.

How do I give to Goodwill?

1. Donate used clothing, shoes, accessories, handbags. The garments could be of any size and for all people: boys, girls, women, men.

2.Donate household items. Pots, pans, vacuums, jewelry, paintings, lamps and lampshades, George Foreman grills (anything that plugs in would certainly do).

3. Give electronics a new home. Speakers, TV's, home theater systems, DVD players, VCR's (come on, they are in the storage room), CD players (I can't be the only one with one, right?), computers, monitors.

4. Take your old furniture to recycle. Time for a fresh approach to decor? Just drop off the sofa, comfy chair, recliner, bedroom suite, coffee table, dining room set, etc.

5. Drop off the haul to the Donation Center at your local community Goodwill Industries where happy staff will greet you and assist in unloading your vehicle.

6. Feel the lighter, fresher feeling of helping someone reach their true potential and leave an accomplished person.

Remember the less fortunate and have an incredible holiday season!

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