‘Tis the Season to Give Goodwill


In an age where big box retailers are now open on Thanksgiving Day to accommodate holiday shoppers, allow me to make a radical suggestion:

This year, consider doing your holiday gift shopping at Goodwill of Orange County.

Think giving gifts that come from a thrift shop is bad manners? Think again.

First, it’s the most sustainable and Earth-friendly gift you could give because it wasn’t manufactured and shipped over on a cargo container. It already exists!

Next, the purchase supports Goodwill of Orange County – an organization that helps thousands of people in your community facing barriers to employment every year.

Also, it’s inexpensive. Holiday giving shouldn’t have to drain your bank account; less expensive gifts mean more for everyone! And, seriously, the pricing is comparable to a yard sale and there’s no haggling with someone in their driveway.

Holiday win!

Finally, you couldn’t be giving a more original, unique and unexpected gift. All it takes is just a tiny bit of extra effort to shine something up and give as a holiday present. And, the best part is, you have so many options because you can shop both in stores and online at the Goodwill auction site.

So, you may be asking yourself, “what kind of gifts can I get from Goodwill?”

My favorite Goodwill gift is probably housewares. Take a crystal vase or a set of mugs (make sure you find all 4!) and wrap up nicely in a sturdy box with tissue paper. Browse the aisles and you’re sure to find a unique platter or serving piece that would make an excellent gift for newlyweds or, really, anyone who enjoys nesting.

Leaf trays I found at Goodwill - perfect for storing small items on a vanity

Leaf trays I found at Goodwill – perfect for storing small items on a vanity

Crystal votives are always a safe, go-to gift everyone loves. These were all less than $5

Crystal votives are always a safe, go-to gift everyone loves. These were all less than $5

Another idea is costume jewelry because, trust me on this, women can never have too much jewelry. Find a decorative box and fill it with jewelry and trinkets for a gift that would impress any woman in your life. Make it a mix of both vintage and contemporary jewelry for interest.

Just part of my Goodwill jewelry collection: 2 necklaces, earrings and a brooch

Just part of my Goodwill jewelry collection: 2 necklaces, earrings and a brooch

Or, how about a themed gift basket?! The amount of wicker baskets in amazing condition at any given Goodwill of Orange County location is truly astonishing. Pull together a menagerie of common items – like kitchen supplies for a college student – and package them in a wicker basket.

These are just ideas. Every time I’m in a Goodwill of Orange County location (which is about once a week), I see so many unique items in excellent condition. Wine racks, framed artwork, books, toys, decanters, decorative figurines, lamps (why not?!). Gift-giving is truly all about finding something special for someone you care about.

Not phoning it in with a generic gift card.

And, if you start your shopping early enough, it will give you plenty of time to visit as many locations as possible on your own time. No getting up before dawn on Black Friday required.

But, just like the holidays are the season for giving gifts, you’ll also want to give to Goodwill of Orange County by clearing out any of your own, unwanted household wares. You never know who may want what you’re not using anymore.

All it takes is a quick trip around your house and through your closets to find things you just aren’t using anymore. Not only does clearing the clutter make you feel good, so will donating to an organization that does so much good for the community.

So, take my word for it: gifts from Goodwill are a good thing for your wallet, your community and the special people in your life. Be sure to round up your donations now, so you’re all set to take them with you on your next shopping trip.

We would love to hear from you – what are your Goodwill gift ideas? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest using the hashtag #GiveOCGoodwill.

Happy Holidays!

Beat the crowds and start your holiday shopping NOW! Get yourself to a Goodwill of Orange County location to find great deals on all the gifts I mentioned above for your friends, family and loved one. And don’t forget to round up your unwanted wares before you go. Remember, when you support Goodwill of Orange County, you help Goodwill find employment for people in your community. Goodwill of Orange County helps people who are facing barriers to get and keep jobs which provides purpose, pride and dignity.


  1. Great story on the value of making thoughtful selections, and ones that keep on paying forward! I love the photo of the jewelry, and suggest that housewares (dishes/platters) can also be used to present other gifts, such as holiday treats, hostess gifts, etc. I bought an INC shirt and a coffemaker for my college sons, an adidas workout shirt for my hubbie, and a silk shirt for myself!

    1. Hi Diane – you’re right! Gifts for the home are good any time of year!

  2. […] to your community, holiday gifts for loved ones just cosmically fall into place (you can also shop for those at Goodwill, by the […]

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