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Local thrift stores are thrilled by increased donations

SHAWNEE, Kan. – Saturday was the busiest day of the year for local donation drop-offs, as lots of people get rid of the old to make way for the new. Local thrift store are thrilled with the increase in donations.

On a typical day, the Goodwill store in Shawnee, Kan. gets about 40 donations on a typical day, however on Saturday employees prepared to receive about 400.

“These donations formulate 80 percent of the revenue that our organization takes in to fund our programs so without these donations we can’t serve the community,” said Stephany Williams, who is the Interim President and CEO of the Goodwill stores.

Goodwill uses the money it makes to help people with all kinds of disabilities find jobs.

“When you think about it most of us define ourselves by the work we do.   It’s not just a paycheck it defines our self-worth,” said Anne Maloney, the Director of Disability Services.

Melissa Arnold is legally blind.  She gets help from her service dog, Daisy, but at the Goodwill store she works at sorting and scanning books with skills that are unmatched.

“We try to put 300 on the shelf at least,” Arnold said about the books.

“We make some money and i can afford to give her treats and afford to pay my bills, which is fantastic,” Arnold added.

In fact Goodwill helped more than 600 people in Kansas and Missouri find jobs last year. They sell many of your donations in their 17 stores, but they also make money recycling textiles they can’t sell. The store partners with other non-profits to make sure that all items donated are re-used.

“Friends of Parkville Animal Shelter is very grateful to receive things like this to help with the pets they serve,” said Williams.

The store will accept most all donations, from designer bags and clothes, in good shape or bad, to broken down computers and soiled blankets.

“It gets a second life. It gets repurposed,” said Williams about the donated items.

Goodwill now has an on-line store with some of their best finds, like used designer purses, antiques and even art. All donations made to the organization are tax deductible.

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