Shopping at Goodwill versus Salvation Army

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courtesy photo

After parking the car, you push open the glass doors of the building. You inhale the undeniable smell of a grandmother’s house. Your feet cross the tiled floor. Seemingly limitless shopping opportunities are at your fingertips, all at a discounted price. Or perhaps, in a cleansing spirit motivated by Marie Kondo’s “Tidying Up” Netflix sensation, you are carrying cardboard boxes to a thrift store’s donation center.

You are at Goodwill, the college student’s promised land with its low prices and variety of options. Or did you stop at Salvation Army, with its promise of charity and Christian ministry? Which organization should you support? When deciding where to donate or buy secondhand clothes, the best decision is obviously Goodwill.

Goodwill is one of America’s top five most recognized valuable nonprofit brands. Global media company giant Forbes named Goodwill one of America’s “Top 20 Most Inspiring Companies” for three years running. This is all well and good, but how does Goodwill impact individuals’ lives?

Not only does donating to Goodwill benefit you, such as providing an opportunity to clean out your closet, but it also benefits other individuals such as job seekers who may not find employment elsewhere. After all, Goodwill helped more than 280,000 people find jobs in 2017; more than 38.6 million individuals accessed Goodwill mentor and further education programs in both the United States and Canada. The Goodwill website showcases first-person testimonials from individuals especially impacted by the organization.

Goodwill not only cares for individuals but also cares about its environmental impact. The company recently introduced a new initiative titled “Use Less, Serve More” which, according to the official Goodwill website, means to provide support for more people while lessening the company’s environmental impact. Another initiative is the partnership between Goodwill and technology company Dell titled “Dell Reconnect”. The program, Goodwill claims, has kept more than 500 million pounds of electronics since 2004.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the evangelical Salvation Army promotes charitable acts like community involvement, nonprofits assistant, as well as disaster aid. However, the organization is also known for allegedly supporting anti-LGBTQ movements. Furthermore, because Salvation Army is labeled as a religious organization, it is not obligated to report any financial data, as opposed to nonprofit Goodwill.

Ultimately, it is up to you as a donator and consumer in choosing which organization you end up supporting. Either way, your closet offers more space to occupy, and you find something nice for a cheap price. You also keep items from landfills. Most importantly, however, you receive a receipt for your taxes – hello, approaching tax season!

However, if you have not recently shopped at the Hattiesburg Goodwill, the store plans to move its location to 5916 US Highway 49. In the meantime, it is in its usual location on Hardy Street near T-Bones and ready for your business.

Many of the statistics stated in this article can be found on the official Goodwill website.

photo courtesy Goodwill Industries