Thrift stores see year's end donations rush

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The last-minute rush is on for many purgers looking for tax write-offs before the calendar turns to a new year.

Between Christmas and New Year’s, many find they can clean closets and garages to make room for new goods and add cash to their wallet.

December donations are up 30 percent compared to months the remainder of the year at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore on Walton Way, said store manager Doug Vandenhuerk. People donating small appliances, sinks, door and cabinets have walked in one after the other.

“The entire month of December we see an increase in donations. Then, especially the last week of the year, a lot of people want a tax receipt and others want to make room for things,” Vandenhuerk said.

Friday was the last day for 2011 donations at ReStore, which reopens Tuesday. Vandenhuerk said many callers requesting last-minute home pickups were disappointed to hear the truck’s booked until Jan. 9.

The last two days of the calendar year have traditionally been the busiest donation days at Goodwill Emporium donation spots. After a tough economic year, Goodwill has experienced an increase in individual donors, but each donating a smaller quantity, said Jim Stiff, the president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the Central Savannah River Area.

“You have less to give away if you’re buying less,” Stiff said. “The good news is I think people are sensitive to there’s a need out there.”

At the Salvation Army Thrift Store on North Leg Road, operations manager William Davis said two to three cars were lined up at the drop-off window at times Friday. Donors determine the resale value for items donated and make note on their receipt for tax purposes, he said.


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