If you have ever wondered what Goodwill did with that futon you donated last year, the organization is about to explain it all to you.
Goodwill Industries International -- perhaps best-known for its retail operations and as a repository for stuff some people don't want and others do -- is launching an awareness campaign to explain just how all that stuff actually improves the lives of the people around the world the organization is charged with trying to help.
The "Donate Movement" with Levi Strauss & Co. features Lorie Marrero, a certified professional organizer and creator of the Clutter Diet.
Goodwill, a network of 166 community-based agencies in the United States and Canada with 14 affiliates in 13 other countries, says that 62% of consumers donate to support causes they believe in, but 71% admit they've chosen not to donate their unused clothing. The survey found that for every one article of clothing donated, consumers have at least 30 more articles ready to be donated.
The effort also includes a new "Donate" icon, a "D" with recycle- style arrows around it. The symbol will begin appearing on products with the hope that it will become "the universal symbol of donating," per Goodwill.
Goodwill's Donate Challenge, which officially launches the "Donate Movement," calls on people to donate to their local Goodwill store or drop-off bin, and visit donate.goodwill.org to learn how donations become valuable community services.
The challenge includes an online Donation Impact Calculator for consumers to determine the social and environmental benefits of their donations. The calculator says, for example, that donating 30 articles of clothing funds more than four hours of a job-search class for one person; one bicycle, one coat and one DVD provides a person with one hour of on-the-job training; and one working computer provides 5.3 hours of career counseling.
As part of its involvement with the campaign, Levi Strauss & Co. has changed the product-care tags in its jeans to "Care Tag for Our Planet," which includes instructions about ways that consumers can reduce the environmental impact of their clothes after they leave the store by washing less, washing in cold water, line drying and donating unwanted clothing when no longer needed.