Building Villages – Charitable Donations

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a fan of the Big G. Goodwill. I like its mission, I like the way it accomplishes its mission. Frankly, when I’m making charitable donations on behalf of my clients, it’s sooo darned convenient – Goodwills are as common as Starbucks and mushrooms out here. My Goodwill runs are on-the-house. I also make complimentary runs to Homeward Pet in Woodinville – I could make disclaimers about being a mush for animals (I am) and wanting to honor my clients’ wishes (I do) but I’ll also come clean that there’s a teeny bit of self-interest involved – Homeward Pet is crow-flying distance to my bank and Post Office, so it’s a pointed reminder for me to check in with both whenever I go to Homeward Pet. Little Boy Bundled in Jacket


I have had a client vehemently object to Goodwill. I have had other clients expressly request that their items go to much more targeted non-profits – high-end clothing to Dress for Success, for example. I honor those preferences on a complimentary basis whenever possible. I only charge a fee for complicated, multi-hour donation missions.


Today, my client gave me permission to dispose of a donation any way I saw fit.  Goodwill would have been OK. Disconcertingly, I hesitated at Goodwill. And that’s when I got the reminder that there are many wonderful people building villages, and I CAN be a whole lot more creative than falling back on Goodwill. Today’s treasures went to Westside Baby at the drop-off center hosted by The Little Gym of Seattle at Interbay.  I’ll be making a visit to Eastside Baby Corner at the drop-off center hosted by Marymoor Self-Storage in Redmond. I wish I had enough pages to list all the terrific companies which offer opportunities for those two agencies. I can’t even begin to identify all the companies which host Toys for Tots, food bank barrels, pet food bank barrels, clothing drives, community service days.


Charity can be the stuff. It can be money. It can be volunteer time. Or it can be a tiny corner of your company’s front hall, the only resource you can spare. Westside Baby got 13 13-gallon bags of baby clothes, a large box of children’s shoes and a spectacular assortment of toys and trinkets. I left feeling guilty: not sure there was enough space for the next person’s good wishes.

About Lauren Williams

Lauren Williams, Certified Professional Organizer®, Certified Virtual Professional Organizer®

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