As the 43rd annual Earth Day approaches Monday, Goodwill encourages consumers to remember the widespread impact from the simple act of donating goods.
Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois has been an environmental pioneer and social innovator of the “reduce, reuse, repurpose” practice since 1936. Locally, Goodwill diverts more than eight million pounds of clothing and household goods every year from landfills by recovering the value in people’s unwanted material goods; and in the process, creating job-training opportunities for people in need of work. In addition, Goodwill and Dell’s free computer recycling program, Dell Reconnect, allow people to make a donation knowing it’s good for people and the planet.
With more than 2,500 Goodwill locations participating across the U.S. and Canada, the Dell Reconnect program allows people to simply drop off used computers and computer equipment (any brand, and in any condition) at their local Goodwill. More than 450,000 pounds of computer electronics have been responsibly recycled per year since the partnership began in 2004.
In 2010, Goodwill launched the Donate Movement, a corporate social responsibility platform and public awareness movement that encourages consumers to think of donating used goods as just as essential to environmental responsibility as recycling paper and plastics. Via the Donate Movement microsite (donate.goodwill.org), users can calculate the social impact of their own clothing and household item donations, while a new feature on the site tracks how many pounds of usable goods Goodwill has diverted from landfills since January 2012 – currently totaling more than three billion.
“With Earth Day now four decades old, more Americans than ever before are concerned about environmental issues,” said Goodwill’s President, Sam Schmitz. “Yet it is easy to lose track of the ways that one person can make a difference. For more than 75 years, Goodwill has linked protecting the environment to helping people earn paychecks, support their families and strengthen their communities.”
The Donate Movement website lets consumers see how much of an impact they can make on the planet by donating used goods. The website also provides a step-by-step guide on how to organize a donation drive at a campus, school or other location, gives bloggers the opportunity to raise awareness by joining the Donate Movement Network, and provides resources on where to bring used goods. For more information, visit donate.goodwill.org.
Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois is a community-based not-for-profit organization that provides jobs training, and placement services for people with barriers to achieve meaningful employment. Rockford serves as the headquarters for Goodwill Northern Illinois and is one of 165 Goodwill agencies under the auspices of Goodwill Industries International.
Goodwill Northern Illinois’ territory includes an 18-county area in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin with a combined population of over 1.1 million residents. Goodwill’s retail operations sell donated, gently-used products as well as new items such as overstocks and close-outs from some of the best-known stores in the state. Goodwill stores in northern Illinois (Rockford, Machesney Park, Freeport, Sterling, DeKalb, Ottawa, McHenry, and Huntley) and Beloit, Wis. employ nearly 300 people. Visit www.goodwillni.org.