For Barbara Luke, it’s become a spring-cleaning ritual to give unwanted items to the Goodwill in Paragould.
“I’ve given clothing, shoes, dishes, and pans. I just want to have the opportunity to help people out,” she says.
Collectively, Goodwill-donated items keep over 27-million pounds of recycled materials, electronic waste, clothing and household goods out of landfills.
David Riley is the Goodwill of Paragould manager, and says “we throw away, practically, literally nothing. And so, it really does help the state. It helps keep it clean.”
The sale of donated goods account for ninety-six percent of Goodwill’s revenue. Riley stresses the importance of keeping them steady. Indicating that donations are down for the store.
“We try to educate people. And give back the community that we’re working in,” Riley adds. “For us…it saves customers a fortune on buying things.”
Goodwill donations go a long way in keeping Arkansas’ unemployment rate low. Last year, over 6,300 people found a job through Goodwill. And at the Goodwill in Paragould, the number of employees has tripled in the last six years.
Lucas Williams is one of those employees. “I feel like mostly through the power of work, you really do get your independence mostly,” Williams says.
The Goodwill solution is to donate, shop and help put more people to work.
To learn more about Goodwill’s mission, and how to support and donate, visit www.goodwillar.org.