goodwill men's sports wear
PHOTO COURTESY GOODWILL INDUSTRIES OF CENTRAL FLORIDA ITEMS URGENTLY NEEDED — Goodwill has seen a huge increase in demand for men’s and women’s clothing and footwear, as Central Florida families battered by inflation try to stretch their budgets.

As the price of food, gasoline, and virtually everything else continues to soar, the household budgets of Central Florida families are getting impacted harder and harder. According to Goodwill Industries of Central Florida, families are spending $341 a month more than they were a year ago.

And that likely has many more families turning to local community resources like Goodwill.

While the organization accepts a wide variety of household goods, Goodwill Industries of Central Florida is seeing an increased need for specific items across the 30 stores in its six-county operating territory. And the need is especially dire in Volusia and Brevard counties, said Kim Praniewicz, Goodwill’s vice president of marketing and mission advancement.

“The past couple of months, we’ve been seeing increased demand,” Praniewicz told The Beacon. “Some of it is seasonal, but we’re also seeing people trying to save money on items 30% to 40% below normal.”

PHOTO COURTESY GOODWILL INDUSTRIES OF CENTRAL FLORIDA
MARKETING OFFICER — Kim Praniewicz is the vice president of marketing and mission advancement for Goodwill Industries of Central Florida.

Goodwill is always willing to accept donations of gently used — or new — items of all types, but Praniewicz said the need is especially great for women’s clothing (tops and bottoms), men’s clothing (tops and bottoms), shoes (adults and children), sneakers, and small home appliances, like coffee makers and toasters.

“We appreciate all donations, which can be made to any of our 30 stores — including those in DeLand and Orange City — or at our donation centers,” she said.

Unfortunately, there are no Goodwill Donation Xpress centers in Volusia County. According to its website (goodwillcfl.org), the closest is probably the one at 3577 Lake Emma Road in Lake Mary.

But as Praniewicz noted, the stores in DeLand (1600 N. Woodland Blvd.) and Orange City (891 Harley Strickland Blvd.) will gladly accept donations.

By the way, donations to Goodwill are tax-deductible. Under federal law, you can deduct many financial contributions to Goodwill Industries of Central Florida and donations of gently used clothing and household items.

In 2021, donations to Goodwill in Central Florida kept 18.9 million pounds of stuff out of landfills, Praniewicz said.

“We’re on track to do even more this year,” she said. “It’s all about sustainability.”

Revenue from its stores pays for all of Goodwill’s operations, she said. That includes 1,300 people employed and programs such as job placement, vocational rehab, prosperity planning, and college costs for all employees, which provides for free tuition for those working at least 20 hours a week.

For more information about Goodwill Industries of Central Florida, such as what can and cannot be donated or the services it offers, go to goodwillcfl.org.

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