Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries
Serving Greater Cincinnati

Graduation Season is Here: 5 Awesome Gift Ideas for the Grads in Your Life

Graduation season has arrived! As new high school or college graduates prepare for their exciting next chapter of life, family members and friends face the task of selecting a thoughtful, meaningful gift to celebrate their grad’s many accomplishments. But because every grad is so unique, figuring out the right gift to buy can be challenging. Finding a great gift at the right price can be even trickier–especially if you have more than one graduate to shop for.

Wondering what to get the new high school or college grad in your life? We have a few gift ideas that are sure to delight your grad without breaking the bank! Show your grad just how proud you are with one of these budget-friendly gifts from Ohio Valley Goodwill:

Two wicker baskets on a shelf

Wicker Baskets from Goodwill

Gift basket with all the college essentials

What better way to send your new high school grad off to college than with a homemade gift basket? To make your own, first head to Goodwill to peruse our selection of wicker baskets in all shapes and sizes. Then, fill the basket with things your grad will need and use while in college, such as toiletries, laundry detergent and dryer sheets, cleaning supplies, towels and washcloths, hangars, first aid supplies, snacks, school supplies and other essentials. Once you’ve filled the basket, wrap it in cellophane and tie a ribbon around the top. This easy-to-assemble gift is bound to be useful as your grad moves into his or her first dorm room!

Selection of men's watches from Ohio Valley Goodwill

Men’s watches from Ohio Valley Goodwill

Timeless timepiece

Classic and elegant, a watch makes a perfect graduation gift. If your grad is a fan of vintage timepieces, Goodwill is the place to shop. You can often find modern, vintage, and retro watches for men and women from our selection for just a fraction of department store prices. If you’re looking for a specific brand, check out shopgoodwill.com, our online auction site. There, you can search for a certain brand or style or browse by category to find exactly what you’re looking for!

Advice jar

For a fun graduation party activity, recruit family, friends, and other loved ones to write down words of wisdom, well wishes, or favorite inspirational quotes on small pieces of paper. Then, have your guests drop their notes in a mason jar. You can even decorate the jar with your grad’s school colors by using paint pens or a permanent marker. When the festivities are over, your grad will have a keepsake filled with sage advice to guide them as they embark on their next adventure.

Photo of a red purse with black handles

Red bag from Goodwill

Stylish bags

Whether your grad is preparing for a new school year or the start of a new career, they’ll need a stylish, practical bag to carry their belongings to and from school or work. Check your local Ohio Valley Goodwill store for backpacks, laptop bags, totes, and briefcases in a variety of styles and colors. Our inventory is updated daily, and you can often find items in nearly-new or even “new-with-tags” condition!

Display of backpacks and tennis shoes on floor

Backpacks from Goodwill










Colorful plates displayed at Ohio Valley Goodwill store

Colorful plates from Goodwill

Coffee maker and other kitchen supplies

Between early morning classes and late night study sessions, coffee is a must-have in college. Help your grad avoid the temptation of buying expensive coffee shop drinks by gifting them a convenient coffee maker for their dorm room. At Goodwill, you can find great deals on gently-used single-serve or full-size coffee makers. If you know a recent college grad tackling the “real world,” shop at Goodwill for a variety of kitchen supplies and appliances to stock their first apartment. Toasters, oven mitts, drinkware, dishes, silverware, and other kitchen essentials can all be found for less at Ohio Valley Goodwill!

Celebrating your grad is easy with help from Ohio Valley Goodwill! With a network of 18 retail stores in the Greater Cincinnati area and an ever-changing inventory of merchandise at affordable prices, Ohio Valley Goodwill is the place to find everything you need to show your grad how much you care.

Be sure to check out our monthly sales calendar and register to have our special offers sent directly to your email to stay on top of the latest deals. And remember, by shopping at and donating to Goodwill, you help us fulfill our mission to change lives through the power of work! Thanks to your support, we are able to continue providing job training programs and employment services to individuals with disabilities—now that’s a good thing!

From all of us at Ohio Valley Goodwill, congratulations to the class of 2019!