"We accept really any donations that people would like to give, but especially clothing, shoes, accessories like purses, belts things of that nature as well as household goods. Books, whatever people can think of. Christmas items, halloween, we have a use and a home for them here at Goodwill," says Sondra McFarlane of ABVI-Goodwill.
There are 11 Goodwill locations in the greater Rochester area. All of the proceeds from them go to support programs and services locally with the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
It's a win for the community and the environment. "We actually prevent 7 million pounds of goods from entering the landfill every year and that number is growing as well. So the more people donate the more it supports the community, the more we protect the environment and we like to refer to it at Goodwill as the circle of giving."
This time of year things really start to get busy. Calls to 1-800 goodwill with questions abut what can be donated double at this time of year.
"The folks that bring in items get a tax write off. So you're giving to us. You're getting something back and once again it's all part of that circle of giving," McFarlane adds.
Recently more and more people are thinking twice before tossing things in the trash. "More and more people are joining the upcycled, recycled movement. Particularly with the economy and the new normal that people are facing."
Top 10 Things to Donate Before 2012 Ends
You name it; we'll take it - suits, pants, dresses and shirts. They are the largest volume of items we receive and sell. There are many good things that come from a clothing donation, but one of the best is that the donated clothes provide new outfits for job seekers at a reasonable price.
2. Household items
Lamps, frames, vases, curios, baskets and collectibles are just some of the knick-knacks we love to sell at Goodwill.
Get a new cooking set during the holidays? Don't get rid of the pots and pans you are replacing. Just think of the individual with the dream of becoming a chef who could use the gently used kitchenware bought from Goodwill to spark his or her dream.
4. Video Games
Did your child just have to have the latest (and likely the most expensive) video game this year? Make a deal: for every new video game, donate two they don't play anymore.
Upgrading from paperbacks to an iPad, Kindle or Nook this year? You know where we're going with this....
You've got all your tunes saved in you iPod. Do you really need those 100s of old CDs taking up space in the back of your closet?
Computers and their peripherals contain electronic parts that are hazardous to the environment if not disposed of properly. Don't discard an old computer at the end of its useful life -- recycle it. Just remember to remove personal data from hard drives and other storage media before donating to Goodwill.
8. TVs and Small Electronics/Appliances
Why leave an old TV by the side of the road? Instead, donate it to Goodwill and know that someone else will be able to enjoy all that the small screen has to offer. Do the same with toasters, coffee pots, alarm clocks and other small appliances that no longer have a place on your kitchen counter, nightstand or other spot in your house.
9. Glassware and dishes
Setting the holiday table with new dinnerware and crystal glasses? Make room for that new fine china in your cupboards by donating the dishes, plates, silverware and glasses that you no longer need. You never know, someone might just be looking for that exact pattern or piece to replace the one cousin Bobby broke last year!
Yes, Goodwill takes big-ticket items like bikes. When your children have outgrown theirs, or you've moved on to a new bike, consider donating the old ones.
For more information on Goodwill Stores hours, click here