Tag Archives: Thrifting

Philanthropy is ALIVE!

Last week I had a reporter over at The Chronicle of Philanthropy contact me about the Living the Goodwill Life challenge/blog and my participation in Jenna’s All Thrifty States thrift store tour.

We chatted a bunch about philanthropy (since I work in the nonprofit field and I’m a HUGE volunteer!) and my own personal goals for the challenge and the larger thrift-public that exists in our country.  While most of that didn’t make it into his article… you never know who is watching your actions and it gave me an added burst of enthusiasm for our Philanthropic nation and those contributing to it’s growth!

In the midst of government cuts to fund nonprofits and the added stress of MORE needs to those same organizations, our nonprofits are keeping their heads (barely) above water and continually finding ways to help those less fortunate than the rest of us.  Thanks to Jenna and others like The Chronicle of Philanthropy for continuing to put charity at the fore-front of our everyday lives; showing us that being thrifty and buying recycled goods from nonprofit organizations is a legitimate way of life and that it can be fun, inspirational and that it leads to greater movements in our troubling times!

NATIONAL THRIFT SHOP DAY is only 7 days away!  A PERFECT time to show the rest of the country that living a frugal lifestyle that supports philanthropy is our AMERICAN WAY!

So get out and SHOP and/or DONATE on Wednesday, August 17th America!  Support your local nonprofit organization by frequenting their thrift store and in turn give back to your fellow neighbors!  Show the world again that America always has been and ALWAYS WILL BE made up of philanthropic citizens giving to those in need!

For a list of your local thrift stores go to: The Thrift Shopper



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Mom’s the word!

It’s the beginning of May and we’ve already started our Goodwill Garden, our TOY donation drive (PLAY it FORWARD) is gathering steam and this weekend is MOTHER’S DAY!  So with all Mother’s that might be harder to purchase for… or if you are just a last-minute-shopper who wants to get something unique for mom… well this post is for YOU!

This first item you can usually find @ any Goodwill quickly (if your the last-minute-shopper type) and it doesn’t take any time to put together.  Just insert a photo, put in a bag and VOILA’!  You have a great Mother’s Day gift!

This brand-new frame I picked up a couple of months ago at the Seattle Dearborn Goodwill knowing I could use it for a Mother’s Day gift.  But you can usually always find a brand-new frame to put a recent photo of you, your family (or heck, even your dog?!) into for mom as a gift.  I’m a mother and every photo I get I look at often so when I get new images, I love it!

This second item is for those DIYers that want to reuse/recycle something and make it a unique gift for Mom…

I came across these brilliant reused glass light fixtures @ the Fremont Market last weekend and wanted to immediately put this idea to Goodwill use!  So because flowers are often a great gift for Mother’s, I thought I’d try this week to gather a couple of these lights and repurpose them (add a strong hanging wire on the top) for my own Mother’s Day gift (and for a friend’s Birthday party this Saturday).

No matter how you celebrate the important women in your life this weekend try some of these last-minute tips from your local Goodwill and definitely have a HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY from Beautiful and her boys!

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Saved in Portlandia

Yep, that’s right Thrift-Public… I’ve SAVED over $1,000 by shopping @ the Goodwill so far this year!  And that’s no small potatoes!

What would YOU do with an extra $1,000?


Speaking of saving… we have been taking a little bit of a shopping break this week in preparation for our BDay Portlandia trip this week.  So stay tuned for the low-down-of-deals from our neighbor to the south… 

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Clean out those DRAWERS!

This year the Goodwill started a DONATE campaign to encourage people to go through their closets, garages, storage spaces and homes and donate all they are not using/don’t need.  Now the Goodwill has partnered up with Hanes to encourage people to “clean out your drawers” to help the environment and your local community with job training through the Goodwill.  http://donate.goodwill.org/hanes/

Not only is Hanes helping encourage Americans to donate but they are taking it one step further and have announced a photography contest!  You can find out more about the contest by going to http://apps.facebook.com/hanes-coyd/donations/add

We went to our local Bellevue Goodwill (http://www.seattlegoodwill.org/shop/stores/bellevue) and brought in some really great items to donate such as this brand-new with tags Carter’s baby outfit, or a BCBG skirt and new parent books.

We’ve cleaned out our DRAWERS for Hanes and Goodwill… have you?

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Meet the MAN!

This week I had the AWESOME ADVENTURE of interviewing Gary, the manager of the Bellevue Goodwill.

Now for anybody that’s seen any media footage concerning the Seattle Goodwill in the last 5 years it has been Gary that you’ve probably seen.  Evening Magazine doing a Halloween episode, Gary!  Local TV news coverage for the annual Seattle Goodwill‘s Glitter Gala, Gary!  If you have even been visiting the various stores for more than two years you’ve more than likely seen… yep, you guessed it, GARY!

Gary is a Seattle Goodwill ICON.  I say icon because not only is Gary super-chill, always engaging the customers, always doing what he can to spread the Goodwill message, but Gary does all of this with a warm personality, a friendly smile and of course a FABULOUS sense of style!

So, I had the great pleasure of interviewing Gary for this challenge/blog and asked him a little about his Goodwill background, his thoughts on what Goodwill means in our community and of course what men’s hot fashions you can find at a local Goodwill!  The only part of the interview I didn’t have a chance to touch on is the upcoming Bellevue Goodwill Designer event which is happening April 29th through the 30th.  You can find out more about it here: March Goodwill Calendar

Enjoy the interview and say “Hi” to Gary next time you see him!   


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It’s Happened again!

These past two weeks I have NOT being able to find some things @ the Goodwill?!  First it was the Caribbean blue scrub uniform for school, then when I was redesigning my cubical space @ work I couldn’t find any LIVE PLANTS to put in a pot I bought for my desk.  Then, this weekend we awoke to our Boston Terrier puppy making a #2 mess all over our carpet and there is no Carpet cleaner or Pet disinfectant @ the Goodwill.

I had to buy the plant @ Lowes and the Pet Cleaners @ Fred Meyer this weekend.  😦

I will save the thrift-public from all the gross details and instead show you how our puppy looked when we found out…

So there we go… THREE items that I couldn’t find @ a Goodwill so far this year.  BUT for all the other 90+ items (look for another challenge update soon!) I’ve been getting @ the Goodwill I’d say those are some great averages!

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You must of been a Beautiful (Goodwill) Baby!

I’ve been asked what the FIRST place I go to in a Goodwill is???  The baby-clothing area without a doubt!

My little one has been growing at a pace that keeps me shopping for baby clothes CONSTANTLY.  It is good that the baby is healthy, truly I am blessed… AND it’s a good thing that I always seem to find something @ a Goodwill because I would be in serious trouble if they didn’t have a steady supply of baby clothes!

So, I’ve compiled a little “Baby Fashion Show” video for everybody to see what’s possible to find for your little one @ a Goodwill.  I hope it inspires you to go GA-GA over Goodwill!

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Can’t find an item? ShopGoodwill.com!

So I think I’ve found an item that I’m not going to be able to get @ a Goodwill store -OR- on ShopGoodwill.com.  I need a Caribbean Blue scrub uniform for a medical class and even though the Goodwill stores do have scrub uniforms… they are NOT in Caribbean Blue.  BUT, the other items for the class that I needed (a blood pressure cuff and stethoscope) I did not think I was going to be able to get them @ a Goodwill, but thanks to the awesome invention of ShopGoodwill.com… I DID!

This last week I found this brand new blood pressure cuff with matching stethescope and carrying case!  Purchased on ShopGoodwill.com from the Goodwill Industries of West Michigan, this lovely set came to my house in a week via USPS.  I have been able to search for so many things on ShopGoodwill.com that I need or might need coming up.  The website is set up a lot like eBay, so if your used to shopping eBay, you’ll be able to manuever ShopGoodwill.com pretty easily and in fact, the site remind me a lot of the eBay shopping I did in the early 2000’s.

I have a couple of QUICK TIPS for those going onto ShopGoodwill.com though… 1.) Make sure you ask questions of the items before you bid.  The descriptions can be somewhat shorter than what seasoned eBay sellers supply you with and you need to make sure you have all your questions answered before bidding  2.) Make sure you look at the shipping costs and figure those into your bidding process.  The items I’ve purchased so far had shipping fees of over $10 each which I assumed had a “handling fee” on top of the normal USPS cost.

So there we go… I have officially found one item that I can NOT get at a Goodwill store or on ShopGoodwill.com -BUT- I did get other items that I did not think I could get. (like this newer pair of Ted Baker of London glass frames that I purchased from the Goodwill of Greater Grand Rapids!  Remember my post about buying a back up pair of glasses because the baby keeps grabbing at my only pair?!  Watch for the post update when I get the final new lenses put into them!)

GOOD LUCK with all your shopping Thrift-Public and remember to ShopGoodwill.com if you can’t find it in the stores!

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In Love and Goodwill

I’ll admit it… I have a couple of guilty pleasures.  I do love shopping, and specifically @ the Goodwill.  I also love reading the “I SAW U” ads on Craigslist and in The Stranger (a fabulous Seattle paper for those of you out of the loop).  Last night, as I sat down to catch up on the last week’s worth of I SAW U‘s, a headline POPPED OUT @ me.

“goodwill – M4W (w oly)”

I immediately was curious and opened the ad…

“I couldn’t keep my eyes off of you today at the goodwill.
You were shopping for clothes.
You had brown hair, tied back. Thin rimmed glasses. A black and teal coat (kind of flannel shirt design) with grey shirt. Jeans and brown boots.
Beautiful. You looked so serious.
I know you won’t see this, but if you do, send me a message and let me put a smile on your face and make you laugh.
Dinner and drinks maybe?”

So for anybody thinking… No, I was not at the Goodwill in Olympia that day.  But I just ADORE the AMORE going on @ the Goodwill! Besides, this guy is SO ROMANTIC just posting to hopefully find this girl again in the first place!  So I thought I’d try and help a guy out and ask you, the Thrift-Public, to pass on this message to any girl you think this might have been?!

Yes I am playing matchmaker, kind of.  I mean how cool is it to help two people find LOVE with each other?  REALLY FREAKING COOL…especially if it’s @ the Goodwill!  This is the stuff of made-for-TV-movies AND what I would say that “Living a Goodwill Life” is made of!



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Media Frenzy


My week started with plans to attend the grand-opening of the new Shelton Goodwill and then I was presented with the added possibility of doing some interviews about the challenge on Tuesday.  The week ended with the grand-opening and a KOMO 4 News interview on the same day! and then came the KOMO Herb Weisbaum & Jane Shannon and KIRO Ross & Burbank radio show interviews to follow!

Needless to say my Saturday is mellow (thank goodness!) so I’m taking some time today to post the interviews, upload new LTGWL items (like the new header image and logo) and play with the baby.

I would like to thank everybody that made these media appearances possible, and for those listening & commenting for the last week!  I’m so lucky to have the support that I have to continue with my challenge for the next 10 months.

Thank you Thrift-public!  Enjoy the KIRO radio interview!

(the KOMO 4 News story is on the right)

KIRO Radio ROSS & BURBANK show interview


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