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161 User Reviews
LAST UPDATED: April 3rd, 2022
Goodwill Industries International was founded by a Methodist minister, Reverend Edgar J. Helms. As part of his ministry and work to help those in need, he collected items which were discarded by more affluent households and brought them to those with whom he was working for repair and distribution. His vision of creating self sufficiency has grown to a large network of independent organizations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Panama, and Uruguay. Each Goodwill Industries International is independently operated, and done so by region. As such policies for stores, etc. vary greatly. All information in this review is focused on the headquarters of Goodwill Industries International, which is located in Rockville, Maryland.

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The Good

  • Inexpensive fundraising expenses
  • 83 percent of revenue spent on program delivery
  • Financial information is accessible

Total Income

Goodwill Industries International received $73,884,867 in 2015, down from $89,979,218 in 2014. The organization had total revenue of $53,902,760 in 2013. The dips in support coincide with false information and negative publicity.

Administrative Expenses

Goodwill Industries International reported that in 2015, of its annual income of $89,979,218, that $3,591,289 was used for administrative expenses. The CEO of Goodwill Industries International, Jim Gibbons, received a salary of $745,000 in 2013. Contrary to reports of the top management of Goodwill Industries International earning extravagant salaries, it should be noted that in 2014, Mr. Gibbons took a pay cut of over $100,000, with a salary of $639,085. This salary data is comparable to that for others in leadership positions for charitable organizations of that size and scope, and nowhere near the purported $2.3 million salary which is often circulated via email and social media posts.

Fundraising Expenses

When comparing to many other comparably-sized charitable organizations, Goodwill Industries International does not devote much of their annual revenue towards fundraising. The 2015 fundraising expense reported was only $512,072.

Program Percentage

Those supporting Goodwill Industries International are often curious about the amount of their donation (either monetary or of goods to be sold in a Goodwill's store) which goes towards the program of providing employment and training for those needing assistance. 83 percent of all revenue is spent on the program.

Accessible Financial Information

Goodwill Industries International has published their financial information and annual reports online, however the only way which the review team was able to find them was by performing a direct search on Google. Many other charitable organizations post links to their financial information and annual reports on their website.

Donor Communication

Goodwill Industries International collects their donor's contact information and may send donors solicitations for additional donations and announcements about upcoming events or programs. Donor names can be published by Goodwill International Industries, unless the donor specifically requests to opt-out.

Awards

Goodwill Industries International has won several awards for efforts in improving career opportunities for individuals. A few of these include: 2016 - Ability One Network Awards
  • Performance Excellence in Government Contracts Award: signifies the successful partnership of the Ability One Network with Goodwill agencies in providing support to individuals with disabilities.
  • Goodwill Industries of Lower South Carolina (Charleston)
  • Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin (Milwaukee)
2016 - HR.com Awards
  • Leadership Excellence Award: recognizing Goodwill Industries International's Executive Development Program in the Best Corporate University Category
  • Top Corporate Leader Award: Lane Schonour
2011 Telly Award
  • Winner in the Not-For-Profit category for their Donate Movement public service announcements

What Customers Are Saying

Customers of Goodwill Industries International retail stores report a high level of satisfaction with the majority of their experiences with the company. While this is not absolute, because stores are managed by different affiliates, the ratio of positive to negative experiences is comparable to those reported for other retail entities. Mission and Program Goodwill Industries International works to offer on-the-job training for those who might have difficulties finding and keeping employment for a variety of reasons, including disability, lack of experience, or even having a criminal background. By doing so, Goodwill creates opportunities for those who are in need, giving them tools to work toward self-sufficiency. Ease of Donation/Support Those choosing to support Goodwill Industries can do so by giving a monetary gift or by donating household goods to a local Goodwill Center for resale in a Goodwill Industries store. Businesses looking to support Goodwill Industries International's mission can become a partner and either create a job for one of the people who have worked at Goodwill Industries International or received training from the organization. Mutual Benefit For those looking to donate goods to Goodwill Industries International, the process allows them to remove unwanted or unneeded items from their home. By so doing, their donation is not sent to a landfill and is repurposed into another's home. Those shopping at Goodwill Industries are able to save money on their purchases, as items at Goodwill Industries stores are priced below retail. Those working with the donations at donation centers or in the retail stores are able to receive on-the-job training and become more self-sufficient.
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The Bad

  • Negative press
  • Lack of transparency

Negative Press

Almost every year and often around the holidays, an email circulates with information about various charities and the ways they are purported to use donations. Goodwill Industries International is mentioned in the email, complete with top secret information about their CEO and his salary. The biggest problem with this email is that the reported CEO of Goodwill is a person who has never been the CEO, and is otherwise unknown, Mark Curran ($2.3 million annual salary). The current CEO of Goodwill Industries International is Jim Gibbons, and his salary is proportionate with other non-profits, being $745,000 in 2013 and $639,085 in 2014. Another allegation is that Goodwill Industries International exploits disabled workers and pays them wages as low as $0.22/hour by using Special Minimum Wage Certificates. There is some truth in this, being that the wage certificates are used with a very small percentage of employees, but there is no actual proof of a wage this low. One area which is often neglected in this allegation is that Goodwill Industries International offers employees with a significant disability additional training and benefits, which can result in these employees making more than their "abled" co-workers. Variability of Store Policies and Practices Being that Goodwill Industries International has many affiliates and sub-organizations which are managed independently of the charity's headquarters, there is variability in store policies and practices. The organization does not operate as a strict franchise, with uniform expectations and policies. This can be frustrating for many who want a cookie-cutter experience with the retail stores that they frequent. When there are challenges, customers are not able to escalate their concerns with higher management or to company headquarters. Doing so results in a response that all affiliates are run independently, which often further frustrates and already frustrated customer. Lack of Transparency Goodwill Industries International, having so many affiliate locations which are run independently, does not have full disclosure about their individual organizations. There are many who have complaints with one location and then transfer their bad experience to the organization as a whole. This is unfortunate because the program as a whole has produced good results.
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The Bottom Line

The work accomplished by Goodwill Industries International has been eclipsed by inflammatory news reports or viral social media/email smear campaigns directed at some of the largest charitable organizations in the United States. Consequently, donations have steadily dropped over the last several years, but have begun to climb. The review team recommends giving to or supporting Goodwill Industries International with cash or goods donations or by shopping at its retail stores. An area which would help improve the Goodwill Industries International's image would be higher transparency of their annual reports and financial statements. Several other organizations are far more transparent with their records, and this practice helps donors feel more confident in their selection of a charity.
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Star Rating

4.2

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161 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

51%

4 grade

28%

3 grade

10%

2 grade

6%

1 grade

6%

Sentiment Criteria

Value

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Quality

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Service

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Trustworthiness

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scotty Saint Paul, MN

I know they are privately owned and they don't give back quite as much as some of the other organizations but they do give back to the community to individuals to families. And what do they say ones manage junk is another man's treasure. They also have one of the best business plans and business models out there

1 month ago

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Mario Martin Montgomery, TX

I volunteer as an assistant to help homeless veterans transition to suitable living. I have developed a healthy relationship with the Goodwill to help. My experience with the Goodwill is extremely valuable. The Goodwill has been consistent with providing amazingly affordable products for households, but is a valuable go-to for clothing, furniture, and other things to help with transitioning. I couldn't ask for better empathetic employees, respectfulness, quality products and services, and reasonable prices.

1 month ago

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Mary Daniels Westland, MI

Goodwill is a helpful foundation for the community. I’ve used this establishment to purchase clothing and household items. I also donated merchandise knowing it will get into the hands of those in need. The stores I’ve visited really work and take pride in keeping the products in order and areas stocked. This is an important charitable organization to support! A good opportunity for a job as well.

2 months ago

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Ana Fischer Chicago, IL

Today 03/21 I went to Goodwill in Lebanon, I found this used basket in regular condition for $5.99 which was a very high price, I went to talk to an employee thinking someone may make a mistake. The person was extremely disrespectful and rude. She told me just let the basket there someone else will buy it..and we are not going to change the price!..I wasn't going to buy it or ask her to change the price pAs a manager my whole life, I can tell you, some prices are wrong for the condition of the items..and this specific girl..doesn't have any clue about customer service, I would never donate to This company again

2 months ago

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Chad Edgar Wentzville, MO

Goodwill this is a blessing of a place not only can you bring clothes here to donate you can take some clothes for yourself if you need them amazing idea I love to go to here often you'll find a lot of nice clothing shoes sometimes some toys

3 months ago

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Kaylee Gay Chicago, IL

I love how Goodwill takes in donated items and resells them to people instead of throwing them into the trash. As the saying goes "one person's trash is another man's treasure". I will never throw away any of my old clothes and make sure I donate them because they could have a better purpose. I also love that you can donate more than clothes to Goodwill like old movies, shoes, and home decor. I also love to shop at Goodwill because they sell things for very cheap and most of the time it is fairly good quality. I do recommend though to donate your old clothes to have a better purpose because maybe they can go to a family in need.

6 months ago

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carole abel Palm Coast, FL

i used goodwill thrift stores to buy all sorts of things for years, both in Maryland and in Florida, we donate as well as shop. Some items are brand new with tags still on them . They are a kind and reputable charity and the store are clean and efficient. when i moved to Florida, i needed to find new employment and Goddwill has a carreer center as well. i had never seen thin in Maryland except maybe a CHIMES program for mental challenged adults. The Goodwill offered job search, resume writing and a reintroduction program for incarcerated people. they had all kinds of work shops and meetings for tax filing assistance and applying to work on the census or improve computer skills, interviewing and transportation help. I could not believe the wealth of services they offered , even made some great friends there. when i took an all day class for computers, they provided a pizza lunch with sodas and a $25 gift certificate to use for professional clothing at the goodwill thrift stores. I did find a very good job and upon showng them my work credentials, i was given another $25 cert. Then COVID came and really slowed things down, my job ended and the goodwill career center closed as well- it is very sad to see how the pandemic affected this type of service- they offered such valuable tools to no one who does not want to use them now.

6 months ago

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Jacqui Bopp Bedford, PA

I've shopped and donated to Goodwill for years and I also used their employment help service they had . There have been times in my life when I've had nothing and had to go to a Goodwill and they would give me clothes and shoes for my job interview which I didn't have. I love that you can find the most interesting things.there too.

3 months ago

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MM Largo, FL

I love shopping at Goodwill-one of my favorite stores! Three prices are so cheap is unbelievable and they also have specials everyday where the tag of a designated color means the item is 50% off. I always find such unique and rare knick knacks as well as clothing items that cannot be found anywhere else.

4 months ago

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A 1 Mesquite, TX

I have grown to appreciate places like Goodwill. My mother has always been a frequent shopper at Goodwill. I've found some great buys on items that I did not intend to find yet they were great deals. I've been fortunate to donate and patronize Goodwill regularly.

5 months ago

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Vanessa Butler Columbia, MO

The store that has something for everyone! Prices that can't be beat and they negotiate! Clean and items are basically in good shape

2 months ago

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Bethany Burleson Elkridge, MD

Prices used to be Great, but they are sometimes as expensive as buying new online. Good selection of items and most stores are large and clean in general, but the prices are too high for second-hand clothing and merchandise.

3 months ago

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Dougie D Harold, KY

With prices at most locations jacked up higher than buying from a major mall store, staff is usually rude and unhelpful and management is more into sitting at desk playing on phone than helping the undertrained staff.

3 months ago

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Prayer Partner Jacksonville, FL

You can usually find some very good prices in a thrift store. Goodwill has gone downhill in the past few years and I haven't been in one in probably 10 years now. Why? When I used to go once or twice a month? Because my husband needed a pair of jeans and we went to Goodwill. There was a pair of jean there, brand new, still had the tags, Walmart price big as life, had been marked down to $9.99 at Walmart. Goodwill was selling them for $12.99. I knew that was the wrong price but when he picked up another pair, tags from Walmart showed a mark down to $7.00 and Goodwill was selling them for $9.00. So, we left and went to Walmart and looked at the markdowns. Found much better deals than they had at Goodwill.

6 months ago

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LeAnn Baytown, TX

I have been taking my donations to Goodwill for years and recently stopped because of an incident that I witnessed in the store. A Mother was buying a winter jacket for her daughter and was a couple dollars short. The clerk was so rude as the lady tried to dig in her purse to find the extra money. The gentleman behind her gave the mom the money to help her out… but in my mind, I would think that since literally everything is donated to them, the clerk could had asked her manager to discount the coat for her. It was just overwhelming for me to see the clerk be so rude while the lady was obviously struggling.

8 months ago

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Matthew Wadley San Diego, CA

We love donating clothes, furniture, books and anything else we no longer use or need. Everyone that works in the donation part of the company is friendly and extremely helpful. I love how they help those that normally wouldn't be hired because of their past get jobs and education. Although I don't like shopping at Goodwill my wife and daughters love going at least once a month to find hidden treasures. ITs a great place for teachers to find supplies or those that do crafts. We find a lot of good baskets there and some cool one of a kind presents for White Elephant Gift Exchanges.

2 years ago

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Johnna Marysville, MI

I shop at the Goodwill in Marysville, MI. The main reason is because of the staff there. They are super friendly and very helpful. Jennifer especially goes out of her way to help. If I am looking for an item in particular, she will hunt for it until she finds one for me to look at. Great customer service!!! And there are always lots of goodies to look at!!

2 years ago

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J. Whelan Long Beach, MS

I hear and read in places from people, "Is there any where I can take my clothes besides Goodwill. Because all they do is sell them for profit". During hurricane Katrina we lost everything. Goodwill really helped us out tremendously! They were able to help clothe us, provide houseware items, pet items for free, BUT they were also the only place that gave us a credit card gift card we could go and buy what we needed. I will forever be grateful to Goodwill for what they did for us during a tragic time in our lives. So I take all of my items I don't need to Goodwill and hope that they can sell it for a profit and help somebody else out in a crisis.

2 years ago

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stevey shumway Midvale, UT

I have donated to Goodwill on several occasions, I think it is great place to donate to! I also shop their every now and then- always finding great deals! The employees are always so nice and willing to help the customers. It is a great environment.

2 years ago

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JDWain Tallahassee, FL

I love both shopping from and giving to goodwill. I think it is a good company with a good cause plus it provides me with the service of getting rid of some now unneeded item as well as allowing me to purchase things from the for cents on the dollar. I have even bought some textbooks from school from Goodwill

2 years ago

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Michelle Rios Ogden, UT

I believe in what Goodwill stands for providing used goods/products that are sold to bring in revenue to help those who are down on their luck and need a hand up out of of their pit of despair. I believe in the people who volunteer their time to help those who need it.

2 years ago

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Eddie Rios Ogden, UT

Goodwill is a hero among charities. They make it easy to donate and to buy from. I appreciate their clean stores, value pricing, and their whole-hearted effort to help others. As a charity, it is a great example of what is good in this world!

2 years ago

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Beverly Schacher Long Beach, MS

Goodwill is easy to donate to, just drop off any household items or clothing that you no longer use. It's a great way to clean out your closets and cupboards and help people in your community. Goodwill usually has stores conveniently located in most cities. Goodwill stores also help people purchase used items at a fraction of the cost of new.

2 years ago

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Jasmine King New Orleans, LA

Goodwill has, for many years, supplied me with cheap, nice clothes. I consider myself a fashionable person, and I personally consider Goodwill a goldmine for cute clothing. The clothes are cheap, well sorted, and I can’t recall a bad experience with any of the workers. Overall, a wonderful store for people with less money.

2 years ago

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Allison Campbell Ellisville, MS

Good will is a great company they are all about reusing clothing, furniture, book and ect. They make sure their products are good enough to sell. They have great employees. Everytime I go in good will they don't judge you and give you advice for sales. They have high price and vintage clothing for a reasonable price.

2 years ago

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Stephanie Byrd Tallahassee, FL

Goodwill is a great place for purchasing clothes in bulks. The idea of used clothes being in good condition seemed unreal to me. Now, I enjoy shopping there. There are a variety of clothing options to choose from. From more casual to business professional. Goodwill has at all and their display is well thought out by caring staff.

2 years ago

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Nicole LeBaron Provo, UT

I love goodwill. I have found kitchen supplies, clothes, books, furniture, etc. There is a goodwill near my house and my dad loves to go there. Very organized and a variety of selection. Sales Associates have been very friendly!

2 years ago

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Kay

Recently, I took two plastic sleds to my local Goodwill store. The donation attendant told me they could not take the first one, because there was a crack in it---the crack being one or two inches long, and there were no grip handles on the side, although my children still used it without handles. To be honest, I did not notice the crack until she pointed it out. The second sled was a little dirty, (probably a matter of five minutes with a soapy cloth)and she said they had no time to clean it, and besides the "Millenials" would want something a little more modern. I looked on WalMart's website, and the sled that I was offering was very similar to one being sold for $25. So I'm not sure what the "Millenials" comment was about---perhaps they look like Batmobile for a racing type. What about families that can't afford $40 or$50 for a more modern sled. Then she suggested taking them to the Salvation Army, as they were not as "picky" as Goodwill. I've donated many items to Goodwill in the past, and have never had any of the attendants refuse items. Is this a new policy--or was the attendant out of line?

3 years ago

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alexisblige Tallahassee, FL

Personally I love shopping at Goodwill in comparison to shopping at big chain stores that rely on fast fashion and utilize child labor.

6 months ago

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MindyV Lubbock, TX

I like Goodwill, they have a good selection of things to choose from and they have great locations for you to donate your items too. The only problem is that the CEO makes WAY too much money for a company that is supposed to be helping others. That's NOT good will at all!!!!!! I understand wanting to make money and provide for your family but the CEO makes millions or billions while so many other suffer to make ends meet.

1 year ago

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Mia miga7440 Denver, CO

Good will is a wonderful company to donate your belongings to. They take almost anything, and put it all at a very reasonable price. All of their clothes are in good quality for being used.

2 years ago

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Anita pea Dallas, TX

Goodwill was a good choice when I needed to donate any of my old stuff like shoes and clothes. The employees helped me figure out what I could donate and let me know what I donated was used!!!

2 years ago

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Janie Dennis Tallahassee, FL

Customer service is not that great in many Goodwill locations! I love the idea and the the fact that the items are so cheap! It has such a humanitarian approach to it and its fun to go to when you want to look for little knickknacks!

2 years ago

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Jennifer Donnelly Tallahassee, FL

Overtime I clean my apartment I always find stuff in my closet that I do not use but are in great condition. Goodwill is the place I donate my stuff to because I know my items will be used for a great cause.

2 years ago

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Summer Porter Managua, MN

Goodwill makes it very easy for both customers to purchase from and donators to drop off. Their is a great variety in their stores and considering it a second hand store, it is quite organized by category. Donating is easy; as long as you have the clothes bagged up, it is as easy as entering the store and drop off at the counter.

2 years ago

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Joss Ocean Springs, MS

I absolutely love shopping at Goodwill. You never know what you'll find! We've bought furniture at a steal during the 50% off everything in store promotions! I'm a repeat customer and so is most of my family!

2 years ago

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Maria La Puente, CA

I have been buying from Goodwill for more than 30 years and never before had the employees of the stores assaulted the customers asking for donations of their change until the last coin, seems like they think the people go to the used things store because they are rich. Also the stores are run by two or three employees who have to do everything, including disturbing the buyers.

2 years ago

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McKinzie Figueroa Provo, UT

I have not shopped too much at Goodwill, but the times that I have I have really liked it. The prices were very fair for what I was buying. There were a lot of clothes options and I was even able to find an Ugly Christmas Sweater.

3 years ago

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Tanner Cook Gilbert, AZ

The bottom line is I can get items I need for a big discount. On top of that, it helps employ people in the area and help with community based programs, a win win! I know my donations will help my community.

3 years ago

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Thomas Hullinger Pleasant Grove, UT

Goodwill has provided me with items that I would not have been able to get elsewhere. They are a wonderful help to the community and provide needed goods and services that cannot be received in any other way.

3 years ago

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Emily Norton Tucson, AZ

Goodwill does a very good job of taking donations and selling them for a low price so others can afford them. I find lots of good clothes for super cheap, not to mention you can get books, furniture, and other household items for a fraction of the normal cost. The only reason I didn’t give 5 stars is because sometimes the stores seem a little dirty, but I just wash everything when I get home.

2 years ago

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Taylor Walker Tallahassee, FL

Goodwill is a wonderful charity to shop at and donate to. I donate clothes and other miscellaneous items that others may need. I have also shopped there for decently priced items. The people are always so helpful and everything is always easy to find.

2 years ago

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Zac Cannon Long Beach, MS

I am a huge supporter of Goodwill. They are great as a charity and their department stores offer clean clothing at a reasonable price. My wife and I enjoy donating our old clothes to the company knowing that someone who needs it more than us will be able to have clothes.

2 years ago

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Madelyn Moselle, MS

Goodwill is such a great organization. I can recall after hurricane Katrina happened, goodwill was there to help families in need. They gave cloths blankets whatever people were in need of. And for low income families, clothing is made affordable. Good job to GoodWill

2 years ago

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Deanna Bernard Miami, FL

I’ve purchased great quality clothing from Goodwill. Some people forget that it’s the quality that counts and not the name of the branding. If you’re looking for a good place to shop for less. Go to goodwill. Its worth it

2 years ago

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Diamond Collins Jacksonville, FL

Goodwill is the perfect clothing store for struggling families. They never put out clothes with holes or stains so there is no worries when purchasing clothes from them. The Goodwill I entered was very organized by color and size.

2 years ago

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Olmanika Milfort Tallahassee, FL

I very often thrift shop here and it is very underestimated. I found many valuable clothing that I can fit to match my style and switch up every now and then. If you are not afraid or are a very patient person, I would recommend shopping here if you're looking to save money.

2 years ago

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Ramone Raiford Tallahassee, FL

One of my favorite places to shop! They allow you to buy cute clothes for affordable prices. I always find hidden gems whenever I go. I also make sure I donate my gently used or completely new clothes to them because I know how excited I get when I am able to buy new things from them

2 years ago

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Khori Howard Tallahassee, FL

I like the Goodwill in my area because I went there because I heard they offer CNA courses for free and they really are helpful when it comes to finding people jobs. They really do want you to succeed. They offer a wide variety of services to help people get on their feet from CNA courses, restaurant jobs, computer literacy, etc. plus the store that gives back as well.

2 years ago

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Sarah Marfo Tallahassee, FL

As a college student Goodwill has been my go to. College is expensive and I have used Goodwill to benefit to get clothes for interviews, conferences, and assemblies. I have been able to get outfits for class and as well as all my professional settings.

2 years ago