With families preparing for the back-to-school season and the frenzied shopping sessions that come along with it, Goodwill Industries International is asking parents and students to shop responsibly. In 2010, Goodwill launched the Donate Movement, which asks consumers to think about how donations and shopping for used goods can make a difference to communities and the planet. At Goodwill, donated goods and their resale are transformed into job training and placement programs that help millions of people annually. With that in mind, Goodwill asks families to consider the Three R’s of the back-to-school season.
1. Research: Instead of approaching the back-to-school season with a last-minute dash for the mall, kids and parents can use it as an opportunity to learn about conscientious shopping. At the Donate Movement website (donate.goodwill.org), anyone can easily find out the impact their used goods can have by entering donations into the patent-pending Donation Impact Calculator. For example, three pairs of gently used jeans provide 31 minutes of career counseling. Students can also read exactly how these career counseling classes have helped job seekers in their communities. Parents can enter their zip codes on the site to find out how and where to donate.
2. Reuse: Young people can make an impact during the back-to-school season in three ways. First, they can make room in their closets, bedrooms and backpacks by donating gently used clothing and household items to Goodwill. Second, they can purchase donated items for school so that the value of what they buy will go directly into helping their communities. Third, they can hold donation drives at their local school once the school season starts. Young shoppers can find everything from clothes and school supplies to books, electronics and sports equipment at their local Goodwill stores.
3. Revisit: With families now spending more than ever before on back-to-school shopping, it can certainly help to put off some purchases until later in the year. By returning to Goodwill throughout the school year, parents can make sure they’re only buying items they really need. Returning later also means they can likely find some must-have back-to-school items at deeply discounted prices in just a few months. Throughout the year, families can revisit the Donate Movement site to learn how their donated goods are having an impact, and return to Goodwill to drop off used items and find new ones.
“The back-to-school season can be a stressful time for families,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “By approaching it as a fun opportunity to learn about the power of donating and to find ways to strengthen our community, children and parents alike can get everything they need for school while knowing they’re doing good by helping others.”
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