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After all the excitement of summer, back-to-school shopping can be stressful for parents — and it’s easy to see why. Every August, Americans spend more than $8.5 billion at family clothing stores, and that doesn’t even include books, school supplies, and all the rest of the season’s shopping needs..
This year, Ohio Valley Goodwill is asking families to join with us in committing to making sure that some of those back-to-school billions go toward putting people back to work right here in the Greater Cincinnati community. As you know, there are many people in our community facing chronic and long-term unemployment. At Goodwill®, we take the value of donated clothing and household goods and turn them into job training and placement services for individuals and families in need. Every time you shop at Goodwill, you’re helping fund job training and placement programs for people in our community.
These programs have helped put thousands of people back to work, allowing them to earn economic self-sufficiency for themselves and their families. In 2013, Ohio Valley Goodwill helped more than 3,100 individuals with disabilities and our nation’s veterans to receive skill training, help with housing and job placement assistance. 947 of those individuals obtained jobs in the Greater Cincinnati area.
By committing to spending even a small part of your back-to-school shopping budget at Goodwill, you can ensure your hard-earned dollars are going to a good place and making a difference not far from home. What’s more, every parent knows that shopping secondhand helps keep the overall family budget down, so you’ll be helping yourself out while helping others too — not to mention helping the environment by diverting used goods from landfills, which is something you can get your kids excited about as well.
Of course, we all know it’s easier said than done to get your teenagers away from the mall, or to convince them that they don’t need every brand new back-to-school item that they swear every other kid at school is certainly going to have this year. Fortunately, even when you do buy new clothes and school supplies, you can still commit to helping put people back to work, by donating the items you no longer need.
Here is a good rule of thumb: for every new back-to-school item your child simply must have, they can commit to donating two items to Goodwill. Want those new, must-have fall jeans? Two clothing items from last year need to go to Goodwill in exchange. Buying a new computer or other electronic item for high school? Bring your used laptops, DVDs or video games to a convenient Goodwill donation center. To make the whole process fun, kids can track exactly how much of an impact their donations will via the Donate Movement calculator. For a list of Goodwill stores and donation centers, visit www.goodwillbargains.com.
Share your great back-to-school shopping deal that you found at Goodwill on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cincigoodwill. Shop Goodwill, help someone in our community and SAVE this school year!