Monday, November 7, 2011

Behind the Scenes at Goodwill Industries

A few weeks ago I was shopping at a local Goodwill and thought to myself this would be a great place to set up a tour for our homeschool Girl Scout troop. After a few phone calls the President of our local Goodwill organization called me back and was very prompt in setting something up.

A Brief History

Goodwill was founded in 1902 in Boston by Rev. Edgar J. Helms, a Methodist minister and early social innovator. Helms collected used household goods and clothing in wealthier areas of the city, then trained and hired those who were poor to mend and repair the used goods. The goods were then resold or were given to the people who repaired them. The system worked, and the Goodwill philosophy of “a hand up, not a hand out” was born.

We started with a video that explains all the inner workings of the company. What they do, how they do it and why.
Here is a clip I was able to find

The video only seems to be found on the Curiosity Quest Website. I really enjoyed the video I am going to see if I can get my hands on more in this series.I highly recommend viewing this even if you do not have a Goodwill in your area. It was very informative and geared toward kids my 11 and 5 year old both enjoyed it.

Here is a picture of all the sorting that goes on when stuff comes in.

If clothing is ripped stained or unwearable they make 1000 lb pallets out of it, which then get auctioned off. Many companies buy them to use as rags, insulation, re purposing and much more. So even if your clothing is in bad shape donate it to Goodwill anyway it can still be used. This was something new to me,I previously thought that all un wearable clothing were just thrown out.

This is a view of some of the books that they sell on places like the Amazon marketplace. This is something they just started doing this year.

There was an invoice of the first sale on July 11, 2011 taped on the wall I took a picture of it to post but it had a lot of the buyers personal information on it so I will not post it. The first book ever sold was

I thought this was rather ironic since Goodwill's mission is to help individuals get job training. Of all the books that could have been their first sale it was a book on jobs description writing.

They also have a big area that they sell on their website. If they feel it is an antique or something of great value it goes up on their website. They ship out at least one full truck each day from these online sales. Now I have a new place to look for those unique hard to find items.

The computer graveyard.

At some locations they rip them apart and make new computers out of all the old parts.

Here is the super Saran wrap machine that CPU towers are wrapped for protecting when shipping to another location.One of these can weigh 1800 lbs.

Falcon thought the big box of mice was cool.

Here is a John Deer combine, I bet this would go for a pretty penny at a toy auction. I am not sure what they are doing with it though he said it might be to big to ship.

After the tour we went shopping Robin and I found this cute shirt with a sparkly bird how fun that her blog-o-sphere name is Robin and we find this cute shirt.

Get involved.
The Goodwill website has just launched a kids section to get more kids in on the donation movement. Kids can create clothing drives and play online games. Head on over to

Don't forget to like them on facebook as well.

A very big thank you to our local Goodwill President for giving us this great opportunity and all of the very friendly staff.


Crabby Hill Farm said...

A big thanks for organizing today's tour at Goodwill. What an amazing organization. It gave me a glimpse into their daily operations and how they are making the world a better place.

The Adventurer said...

Thanks for linking up to the NOBH. What a great trip, there is so much this organization does to help that many people don't know about.