‘If You Wouldn’t Give It To Your Judgy Mother-In-Law … Don’t Donate It’: Goodwill Seeks To Nix ‘Trash’ Donations

Photo by EVA HAMBACH/AFP via Getty Images

Taylor Giles Contributor
Font Size:

Goodwill is attempting to educate donors on appropriate donations in an effort to reduce the amount of worn-out and broken donations being received.

Donations of these items described as trash, raise the cost of trash disposal that could have otherwise been used for other community development programs, according to The Associated Press (AP).

“I’m careful not to shake my finger at donors because without them, we wouldn’t have a business model,” said Megan Fink, a marketing executive at Palmetto Goodwill, according to The AP. “But we are trying to educate.”

Part of the increase in worn-out and broken items is reportedly related to store closures during the COVID-19 pandemic. This forced donated items to sit outside for extended periods of time. (RELATED: Study: Over 100,000 Small Businesses Have Closed Forever As Result Of Coronavirus Pandemic)

Goodwill Northern New England spent $1.2 million, up 155% in five years, on trash disposal for 30 stores across Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, The AP reported.

“What we’re anecdotally seeing is that it’s a younger generation of donors,” said Heather Steeves, Goodwill Northern New England’s communications manager, according to The AP. “Our grandmothers knew what to donate to Goodwill.”

“If you wouldn’t give it to your judgy mother-in-law, then don’t donate it,” Steeves went on to say.

In 2017, Goodwill workers in Washington state received a cooler stuffed with 60 ounces of marijuana. The drugs were reportedly worth $24,000.