Doing your spring cleaning

By Johnathan Quinones

Johnathan Quinones

Although we are in the second month of spring, we have only experienced a glimpse of the type of weather this season can offer.

The early months of the spring season remind me of helping my mother spring clean on Sunday mornings. Every year when the weather breaks, I reminisce of how she would play Spanish music at a maximum level, purposely attempting to wake my three siblings and I.

Cleaning every surface of the house was one task while organizing old clothing items was another; my brothers would argue over belongings and what they claimed to still use. Many of our unused belongings were often put in a pile for the trash; we were unaware of the benefits donations could have presented in our community.

“Your donations fund Goodwill’s employment programs that create jobs and strengthen families and the economic health of your community,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill industries International, on the Goodwill website.

I found many thrift stores in the Akron area, but after researching where my items can benefit the most for citizens, I chose Goodwill. Goodwill drastically helps the community from local citizens’ donations.

“Eighty-seven cents out of every dollar spent in Goodwill stores fund employment and training programs,” said Brenda Baum, the communications manager for the Akron Goodwill. “Goodwill gave a hand-up to 9,152 individuals in areas such as training, education, coaching, and placement assistance;
and 386 program participants gained work experience in Goodwill’s retail operations.”

“Although many households do some type of spring cleaning, the busiest season is year-end when donors are looking to avenues to obtain a tax deduction through donating,” said Baum. “Donations are usually heavier in the summer, with many following family garage sales. There is tremendous competition for donated goods as well with other thrift shops and stores that purchase used goods.”

Donations provide many opportunities in the community, whether you need space or just need to get rid of some things that are no longer useful to you.

Spring cleaning can serve a bigger purpose than just a day of cleaning, sorting and organizing.

You can donate personal belongings to someone else who cannot afford to buy things brand new. Donations also raise the chances of employment in local communities in a time where the economy has not provided many employment opportunities.

“Goodwill’s strength is that it is non-profit and the net proceeds from the sale of donated items help individuals in the community to become self-sufficient. Goodwill is the answer if you’re unemployed, under-employed, recently downsized and new to the workforce or simply looking to change jobs/careers,” said Baum.

“Goodwill’s staff works with some of the region’s largest and most successful employers to connect people just like you to open positions they are looking to fill. You will have access to state-of-the-art resources and professional staff to help you reach your employment goals,” said Baum.

While on campus, I spoke to some students and wanted to know if their unwanted items go to the community for use.

“I go through my entire wardrobe and donate bags full of clothes away every spring to thrift shops and consignment shops,” said Sara Adair, a University of Akron junior.

Jordan Johnson, a University of Akron senior, admits she never realized she had so many pieces of clothing and shoes until her roommates started spring cleaning. She donated many items of clothes and shoes to the Goodwill this
spring season.

Johnson plans on doing this every year because, like Adair, Johnson said it not only gave her space in her closet; “It gave me a sense of gratification by helping others.”