Instead of leaving your used furniture on the curb or shipping it off to a landfill, officials with Goodwill of Chattanooga are hoping you might consider donating to their organizations.
The store, at 1813 E. Main St., provides furniture to people in need, but especially to those who are transitioning into self-sufficiency. Furniture is also available to help battered women and children in retreat, poverty-stricken families, victims of natural disasters and the homeless.
Jason Richardson is attended donation site supervisor for Goodwill of Chattanooga. He helps oversee the 20 standalone donation sites locally. He said many people are unaware of how important donations can be to those in need.
All donations made to Goodwill stay local, according to Richardson.
"We accept a ton of household furniture," Richardson said. "A lot of people have no idea that we accept furniture. All of it gets passed through, and the furniture that is not sold goes directly to the Chattanooga Furniture Bank."
Goodwill will inspect the items and determine whether they can be sold. If not, the items are steamed and cleaned at the furniture bank.
Mary Lockhart is communications coordinator for Goodwill of Chattanooga. She encourages people to think twice before they throw something away.
"I don’t think most stores are supposed to sell mattresses and stuff like that," she said. "There’s a real phobia. But we can give mattresses that are completely sanitized to someone in need."
Lockhart said many people have a misunderstanding about Goodwill.
"They know about the retail stores," she said. "But what people don’t understand is the money we generate is used for our mission programs. They don’t realize that when they shop [the money] is used for programs to help people."
Currently, many household items are needed. In addition to furniture, Goodwill also seeks "winter items" like warm coats, hats, sweaters and blankets.
"This is our heavy time," Richardson said. "During the end of the year, we pick up a lot."
Click here for a complete list of donation sites.
Because of safety issues and other concerns, the following items cannot be accepted: aquariums, fish, livestock or pets; guns or ammunition; alcoholic beverages; or pianos or organs.
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