With Holiday Giving, Be Merry and Be Wise

Goodwill urges donors to ensure intended nonprofits and the communities they serve benefit from their donations. Donation-Bin-Field-Guide (2)

Marion Goodwill Industries is urging people to recognize the value in the used clothing and other household goods they donate this holiday season and to carefully consider if the charities they intend to support are clearly benefiting from their donations. Not all thrift stores are charities, and some for-profit companies solicit donations under the name of charities while giving little or none of the proceeds to those charities.

Goodwill is committed to transparency and advises donors to ask questions and be sure that any organization collecting clothing and household items can immediately provide information about their mission, history and the causes they are asking you to support.

“Far too many for-profit organizations are collecting donated goods and misleading the public, so it is important to give to charities you know and trust,” said Kathy Wink, Director of Marketing and Development “Many donors aren’t asking enough questions.”

You can make sure your donations are benefiting the people who need them most by asking a few key questions:

  • Will your donation be used to support a cause you believe in?
  • Does the organization receiving your donation serve the community?
  • How will your donation help people in need?

“When a for-profit company uses the name of a charity but gives little, if anything, to the nonprofit, it is a disgraceful breach of the public’s trust, and every effort must be made to hold organizations accountable,” said Wink. “It is important for consumers to avoid donating to organizations that can’t immediately provide information about their mission, history and the causes they are asking you to support.”

Goodwill advises donors to:

  • Give to charities you know and trust — such as Goodwill Industries of Marion Goodwill Industries. Note that fraudulent charities often modify the names of established groups, so be sure to carefully read the name of the charity before giving.
  • Familiarize yourself with the organization to which you are donating. Avoid giving to organizations that send unsolicited emails, those that ask for your credit card number over the telephone, and those that request payment in cash.
  • Find out how your donation will be used and how much the organization intends to raise.

Consult charity-rating agencies such as Charity Navigator and GuideStar to find more information about specific charities.

Get Festive on a Budget

The holiday season is here! It’s time to start trimming the tree, buying gifts and decorating your home. I love the classic look of vintage holiday décor and making my own custom decorations with the things I find at my local Goodwill® store.

Here are some of my favorite, easy, tried-and-true ideas.

 Wire Tree

Grab a tomato cage, turn it upside down and add twinkling lights around it. I held the ends together with a ¾ inch nut and made the star out of aluminum wire.


I found these vintage Christmas records at Goodwill. All I did was punch holes and ran ribbon in the middle and at the top. A set of these would make a great festive statement piece on any wall of your home.


I love the shape and shine of this tray. The tree shape is perfect for this time of year but it needed a little more to make it perfect. I used a hot glue gun to add ribbons, ornaments and the artificial candle at the bottom.

By purchasing items at Goodwill, you’ll save on your holiday décor and feel good knowing that your purchase will help provide job training and community services to people looking for work here in your community.

Evette Rios is a lifestyle expert, writer, contributor to “The Today Show” and host of CBS’s “Recipe Rehab”. Prior to her work at CBS, she was a field correspondent and roving reporter for ABC’s “The Chew”. Latina Magazine has embraced Evette as one of the “70 Reasons to Love Being Latina Right Now”, calling her the “mobile Martha Stewart.” Evette is bilingual and a contributor to Univision’s Despierta América, Tu Desayuno, Alegre and Al Despertar.

Evette spent years as a contributing design expert and “buddy” on Rachael Ray, where she became known for fabulous hands-on advice, innovative crafts, and dramatic room revisions — wowing Rachael and the audience with budget-friendly projects that look like a million bucks. Evette’s work has appeared on rachaelray.com, xoJane.com, Parade.com, the English-language Latina-focused website, Mamiverse and many other media outlets.

As a spokesperson for Goodwill, Evette shares budget-friendly design and fashion ideas from items bought at Goodwill and promotes vital job training and career development services to the Hispanic community. Evette lives in New York City.

To learn more about Evette, visit http://evetterios.com/.

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