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Volunteering At Goodwill

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  1. #1
    JayBear480 started this thread.
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    Volunteering At Goodwill

    Has anyone considered, or heard of anyone else, volunteering at a Goodwill to have acess to the "bad inventory" they receive, and to get first picks at buying sellable items before they hit the sales floor?

    I work full time at a University as a chef, so I am booked timewise now, but it means that for 3-4 months in the summer, I am unemployed. I realize that summer is definitely not prime donation time, but it would open the door for doing a couple weekend shifts at busier times when I am available. In the eyes of the store managers it may make the difference as opposed to some random jackass who wants to just come in for one day to get stuff.

    Any experience or input on this? Just going through the donation line in my car, I saw stacks of computers televisions etc piled up in their intake room. This would be the ultimate way to access the full potential of GW treasures (scrap metal, ewaste, and resellable items).



    Having been in management at retail stores in the past, I dont see why they would be against it. From a retail management point of view, I can only think of two worries they could have: that id be more interested in looking at stuff than doing my job, and that id be "taking what could go to those who need it". On the flip side, having a competent and experienced worker who you do not need to pay is good, but one who is guaranteed to make a lot of purchases from you would be great!
    Last edited by JayBear480; 03-09-2014 at 10:46 AM.


  2. #2
    mikeinreco's Avatar
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    seems like that would be a conflict in interest.........I have done volunteer work before and didn't expect anything but a thanks and a good feeling for what I did!!
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    JayBear480 started this thread.
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    I realise I may have come off like a selfish ass at some points in this. I've been doing volunteer work a couple times a year at a few local soup kitchens/food distribution centers since junior high. I'm a huge believer in karma, so in a way it is in my own self interest, making up for the past and racking up a comfortably positive padding on my Karma score. Our school district even has a star they tack onto your high school diploma for getting a "Service Hours Award" where you achieve 200 hours of documented volunteer work before graduation, which I would have received...had circumstances not required me to get a GED instead of a HS Diploma (Still went to college though ) But the large majority of people working at Goodwill stores are employees who are, like at any job, hired and paid*. I wouldn't volunteer at a soup kitchen expecting to be able to take home free food, no. But Goodwill is more of a business, a retail store targeted at low-income / poverty level families. If you're below the poverty line and you go to Goodwill, you still have to pay for items, they are just cheap. They are a retail/thrift store chain. I do not feel any guilt at all for thinking this way because Goodwill is not a good company (see * note at end of post for an example).

    *The majority of the employees are paid. There are a lot of articles all over the internet about how Goodwill exploits the system, I forget the technical term, to where they can hire disabled workers and pay them less than minimum wage. Something about how a disabled worker cannot perform their job comparably to a non-disabled person, and therefore do not deserve the minimum wage. Outrageous, really changed my opinion of the company as a whole.
    Last edited by JayBear480; 03-09-2014 at 04:29 PM.

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    I care nothing about goodwill and they probably do dirty biz like every other major retailer etc........Goodwill from what I understand does have some nice programs as far as getting individuals back in to the work force........actually took a class at the one in Nashville but it was just more of a class than a job placement type deal...........That's when I ended up scrapping as I was busting my hump going to classes, riding the bus, filling out applications etc...........A guy I met at labor ready had an old truck and let me take it out on days I didn't work at labor ready..........In two years we went from one old beat up F150 to 3 f150's and 4 trailers.......We did part ways and I took my truck and trailer and left him the rest (which I help pay for)............anyways getting off track........Goodwill like any other company does good and bad.........I don't think they need your help though getting rid of items as I'm sure they have big contracts for ewaste, ebay stores (check ebay), and outlets for bulk clothing and shoes.........

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    I have my own opinion of good will and the way they operate, for example, the donate your car thing comes pretty close if not over the line as a scam. Goodwill gets 8 to $10 per car out of that deal as I understand it. It is run buy a private company as so with the donate to the blind car , and the Boat Angel thing. I personally don't see where taking bread out of the mouth of one hard working, struggling family and giving a tiny % to another is charity. Goodwill is a huge corporation using minimum wage disadvantaged, for the most part, people to build a huge empire. My father in law used to do the electronics at a good will.

    I can't speak for all Goodwill's, but around here you never see any thing for sale but mid to low grade stuff, where does all the good stuff go. just my opinion.
    "anyone who thinks scrappin is easy money ain't doin it right!"

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    Sirscrapalot's Avatar
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    Find a local thrift store, an try it. One they'll appreciate the help as most of their help is volunteers, lest down here on the sandbar they are. I'm sure GW appreciates it also, and the other big thrift store chains, that do as they do. The little ones always need help, an might just work out an agreement with you, for their broken goods, etc. They also usually don't have an outlet like GW who has that computer thing, an a bunch of other stuff.

    I'm like Olddude tho, in I don't really like GW(Don't worry fans, no rant) and I prefer the local stores in my area/community.

    Good luck to ya tho!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeinreco View Post
    I care nothing about goodwill and they probably do dirty biz like every other major retailer etc........Goodwill from what I understand does have some nice programs as far as getting individuals back in to the work force........actually took a class at the one in Nashville but it was just more of a class than a job placement type deal...........That's when I ended up scrapping as I was busting my hump going to classes, riding the bus, filling out applications etc...........A guy I met at labor ready had an old truck and let me take it out on days I didn't work at labor ready..........In two years we went from one old beat up F150 to 3 f150's and 4 trailers.......We did part ways and I took my truck and trailer and left him the rest (which I help pay for)............anyways getting off track........Goodwill like any other company does good and bad.........I don't think they need your help though getting rid of items as I'm sure they have big contracts for ewaste, ebay stores (check ebay), and outlets for bulk clothing and shoes.........
    I have volunteered over a dozen times at a Goodwill. When things get too packed, they throw away good items.
    One time, they got a large amount of clothes. Too much in fact. I offered to take the extras off their hands because my church was sending off clothes overseas to people in need, but they refused. I had to throw mountains of clothes in the compact dumpster. :'(

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    Breakage's Avatar
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    I deal with the GW regional aftermarket specialists and I can say with 100% certainty that unless you can make a legit proposal to the people above the store location level, you will not have access to their cast-offs. They will want to be paid and they will want truckload servicing for all of their stores in your region from their distribution center(s). They likely have contracts in place for this kind of thing so you will have to deal with some sort of RFP/bid process.

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