Dropping off your Goodwill clothing is a big step, and communications director Debra Donato says that depending on the item, it could be the first of many.

Some will remain in this store, but all clothing, shoes and linens are sent to the processing plant.

It is there that employees determine what goes into the store and what is not good enough to go on the floor.

“You can have areas where the donations may not be very high quality, and you have other areas where the donations are very high quality,” Donato said. “That way the donations go to these central points. They get the price right and then send it to the stores so that no matter which store you shop at, you get the same quality product.”

If it doesn’t sell after a couple of weeks and after the price drops to $1.49, it goes to the dealership, a collector’s paradise.

“Everything is sold by the pound, and there are a lot of people who recycle, recycle, and people who buy in bulk either for repurposing or in stores, there are whole industries for people who shop at our outlet,” Donato said.

After an item sits in the outlet for too long, it still doesn’t end up in the trash. Goodwill prompts rescuers who buy donations that aren’t sold.

“We save thousands and thousands of pounds of stuff from landfills. We wanted people to give something a second life. This benefits not only the planet, but also society,” Donato said. “Ninety cents of every dollar we collect at our stores goes directly to community services to support Southwest Florida.”

Goodwill knows that we all have a habit of leaving our donations in the car for a while.

But after a couple of months of sitting in the car under the hot sun, some things, like shoes, start to rot. They advise you to receive your donations as soon as possible.

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