Goodwill stores selling high amounts of holiday decor and kitchen items as end of year donations rise
CLARK COUNTY — As with many holidays, Goodwill stores continue to be a bustling destination for folks this holiday season, as they search out thrifty Christmas decor.
From festive snowmen to snowglobes, the redemptive retailer has been accepting large quantities of Christmas all year, and it’s been flying off the shelves since October, in spite of the pandemic.
“Our donors are so amazing. Throughout the day, a distinctive selection of beautiful Christmas gems is continuously being put on our stores shelves,” said Betsy Kurilo, district manager for Goodwill Industries of the Columbia Willamette.
In addition to decor, Goodwill here in the Pacific Northwest is also selling large inventories of kitchen tools, such as roasters, pots, pans, bakeware, knives and mixing bowls, platters, blenders, toasters, mixers and espresso makers.
A diverse selection of cookbooks is also available at many locations, with more local and bigtime authors in the mix. Some of the most popular items this year include festive linens, housewares, books and music, and artificial Christmas trees.
“Of all holidays, our donors bring us the most in the way of Christmas, so we know they like it,” said Dale Emanuel, public relations manager for Goodwill of the Columbia Willamette (GICW). “Especially this year, we’re trying to bring happy home. It’s a very uncomfortable year, I think, for most of us. So it’s something that we can do, we have power to do it, we can find it at a price point that is comfortable for us.”
Goodwill encourages people to buy secondhand to protect the planet and their pockets. Of all donation categories GICW receives, housewares is number two on the list. Napkins, drinking glasses and cutlery have been popular, even with less folks around tables this year.
“From artificial Christmas trees to ornaments to ugly Christmas sweaters – a low-cost holiday is ready for our Clark County community members,” said Kris Barnett, Orchards Goodwill senior store manager.
In addition to picking up holiday items, folks can donate them as well through the end of the year. Donation locations have been reduced due to COVID-19, and when you drop off bring your own help to unload large items. For more information on locations and safety guidelines followed by Goodwill, visit meetgoodwill.org.
The revenue raised from the sale of all those donations allows Goodwill to also offer remote help finding work known as Job Connection, Emanuel said. Last year alone, donors in the area gave 263 million pounds of donated items.
“We will help them remotely wherever they are in our 24 counties,” Emanuel said. “We help them at no charge, design a resume, give them job leads, and give them confidence. It’s really hard to promote yourself in the job market. It’s especially hard right now. So we love to offer that help. That’s why we exist.”
Goodwill Industries of the Columbia Willamette operates retail stores, outlet locations, two online shopping sites, and attended donation centers. Donations and purchases fund Goodwill’s free job services programs and we’re proud to be good environmental stewards with our award-winning recycling and salvage operations.
Founded in Portland in 1927, today GICW serves communities in Northwest and Central Oregon and Southwest Washington. Learn more at meetgoodwill.org and on social media using @meetgoodwill.
“It’s all the same, but it’s just harder, like everything else in COVID times,” Emanuel said. “We have seen such generosity and kindness, it really is the lifeblood of Goodwill: donation. We look forward to seeing you.”
Goodwill of the Columbia Willamette contributed to this story.