Simple, Easy Giving This Holiday Season

Can you believe Christmas is right around the corner? Me either. The year flew by! And we, as a family, definitely had our share of ups and downs this year, no doubt.

Now, that the holiday season is here, it is time to think about how we can give back. And although we should work on giving back all year long—giving back this holiday season is as important as ever and easier than you think. Gather your stuff and donate it to your local thrift store. Goodwill, for instance, sells donated goods through more than 3,200 stores across the United States and Canada, and channels more than 85 percent of sales revenue to provide those services to people who are unemployed or underemployed.

While you are there, you can do a little shopping for yourself. Or you can purchase some new or gently used items to give to a local charity or homeless shelter. What a great way to give back to the community. Not only can you shop for your holiday outfits, but you can also make a difference in the lives of people in your community by donating to Goodwill. I love knowing that my donations are going to help the local community. Thanks to the job training programs made possible by donations of clothes and household items, Goodwill helped place more than 312,000 in jobs in the United States and Canada in 2015—that’s one person finding a job every 23 seconds of every business day. So you’re literally donating your stuff AND helping to create jobs.

Another thing we like to do during the holidays is share all of the great deals we found. You know what I am talking about—those Instagram pics, Snapchat pics, or Facebook posts that let everyone know the great deals you’ve found this season. Let’s try something a little different this year.

Show us your stuff by doing a “Reverse Shopping Haul” photo or video:

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We’ve all seen those “shopping haul” videos and photos on blogs and social media. In fact, several of my friends make them about their thrift shop finds from Goodwill. But we would love to see a “Reverse Haul” video or photo that shares what you plan to donate using the hashtag #DonateStuffCreateJobs and tag both Goodwill and Reality Moms Facebook page. Share videos or picture(s) of the items you plan to donate and use the donation impact calculator to let the world know how many hours of on-the-job training you are creating with your used stuff—stuff that doesn’t help anyone when it’s in the back of your closet or under your bed.

You can even calculate how much your donation helps your local community by using Goodwill’s donation impact calculator, a feature available within the Goodwill Locator App  and at Goodwill.org (click “Explore Our Map” on the homepage to access the calculator). Simply input the items you’re donating to calculate the number of hours of career counseling, on-the-job training, résumé preparation, financial planning classes, and other services you’ve helped provide people facing challenges finding employment.

What are you waiting for?!! Get up, get out, and foster that growth in your community!

Debbie Bookstaber

Debbie lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two sons. She’s a #momprenuer who loves technology, toys, travel and anything that helps her squeeze more time with her children into her packed schedule. After graduating from Yale University with a BA and MA, Debbie worked in the travel industry at companies such as Site.59 (a start-up later acquired by Travelocity), Travelocity.com and Expedia.com. Debbie is currently a partner at Element Associates. In 2012, Debbie helped organize SheCon, and she is a frequent speaker at social media and tech conferences such as BlogHer, SXSW, Type-A Parent, Affiliate Summit, SheConExpo, and ASTRA Marketplace. Along with Candace, Debbie is the co-founder of Bloganthropy.org, which recognizes bloggers for using social media for social good, which is at the heart of what she does every day. Debbie serves on several charitable boards, focusing on education and at-risk students. Find Debbie at Mamanista.com

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