Beat Year-End Rush, Give to Goodwill Early


They are six days that make a difference in thousands of lives.

Each year from Dec. 26-31, the number of donations at Goodwill Donation Express Centers skyrockets. In 2016, donations of clothing and household goods tripled during that period compared to other days of the year.

Donations are sold in Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee stores to fund the nonprofit organization’s mission of changing lives through education, training and employment. Every year, thousands of people with disabilities and other barriers to employment in communities across Middle and West Tennessee benefit from Goodwill’s free services.

The year-end donation rush is prompted in part by people cleaning out their closets, attics and garages to make room for holiday gifts. But many donors also are seeking last-minute tax deductions.

“We are preparing for this critically important surge, adding staff at our 70-plus donations sites to ensure the best possible experience for donors,” said Danny Rhodes, Goodwill’s Director of Donation Acquisitions. “But we always appreciate the donor’s patience during this busy time of year, and we encourage anyone who knows they are likely to donate to beat the rush and visit a Donation Express Center before Christmas.”

Here are a few things to keep in mind when donating to Goodwill:

  • Prepare an inventory of your items to be donated before going to Goodwill. The IRS allows a deduction for each item, but it is up to the donor to estimate each item’s value.
  • When decluttering your home, consider the One-Year Rule: If you haven’t worn it, used it or played it in one year, it is probably time to donate it.
  • Donors wishing to claim tax deductions for their donations can easily do so at, or they can request a paper receipt from the attendant when dropping off their donations.
  • Please remove hangers from clothing.
  • If you have a single donation worth more than $500, you will need to complete IRS Form 8283. You will also need a qualified written appraisal.
  • Be certain you are donating to a legitimate charity. Resources for research include the Tennessee Secretary of State’s Office and charity-rating agencies such as GuideStar.

Please be aware there are items that Goodwill cannot accept.  A list can be found at

There are more than 70 Donations Express Centers located throughout the 48-county territory, and most are open seven days a week. Locations and hours can be found online at, under the “Donate” tab.

About Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc.

For 60 years, Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee has provided job training and job placement free of charge to people with disabilities or other barriers to employment through the sale of donated items.  Goodwill’s vision is that all people will have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential through the power of work. More information about Goodwill’s Career Solutions, retail stores and donation centers can be obtained online at or by calling 1-800-545-9231.

Find a Goodwill near you.