This post was sponsored by Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Region. All opinions, bad jokes and images are mine.
I grew up hitting garage sales most Saturday mornings. My grandfather was a savvy yard sale master, and my mother was a thrift store queen (far before Macklemore made it cool).
I was raised in a house full of gorgeous antiques and upcycled everything, and DANG, I love a good deal. As I sit here writing this post, I am sitting on a couch from Goodwill, covered by a quilt rescued from a free box at a garage sale, wearing pants I got on super sale at a consignment store.
I love Goodwill.
So when they invited me to their center to check out their programs and then to check out their auction warehouse, I was maybe a little excited. (I picked out my outfit two weeks in advance.)
When we finally arrived at their Milgard Work Opportunity facility in Tacoma, WA, it was a little overwhelming. Our Goodwill at home in Bellingham is pretty small, and I thought Goodwill was just a thrift store.
Despite the fact I have been shopping at Goodwill since my early days growing up in Seattle, I had no idea how many different ways they help support the community!
At the Tacoma facility alone, they offer the following:
- Military and Veteran assistance – job leads, networking opportunities and interview help (as well as so much more)
- the YouthBuild program – providing GED certification help, construction job training, college prep and leadership development
- Culinary Skills training and Barista training – they have a full cafe run by the culinary students and a coffee bar run by the barista training program in the Milgard center. (When we visited, they fed us in the cafe and it was awesome!)
- SCSEP (Senior Community Service Employment Program) – helping qualified seniors connect to training and employment
To support all of these programs and more, Goodwill takes in donations (as most of you know).
What you might not know, is that some of the REALLY COOL donations are routed to specific places.
I’ll say it again: GOODWILL HAS AN AUCTION SITE WITH ALL THE REALLY AWESOME STUFF.
I had no idea until the day of my visit that there was even an online auction site, and to be honest, I wanted to keep it all for myself because I wanted this red crushed velvet vintage floor-length hooded cape they had listed…but I love you guys and want you to be happy.
Plus somebody ran the auction price up on that cape, so I didn’t get it. *sob*
After we left the training center, we drove over to the auction warehouse. It was kind of like walking into my grandpa’s shop, so I may have gotten a little emotional and excited.
It was rows and rows of amazing things. Like one big come-up.
They had a whole rack of vintage clothing, including a mid-60s flight attendant uniform. They had a bookcase full of vintage luggage, and another of vintage typewriters. A huge box of skis, ski poles and snowboards nestled up around the corner from a crew of rubbermaid tubs packed with 6-string guitars.
This nondescript warehouse in has seen a beautiful collection of rare African art (55 pieces that sold for $23,472) and a Salvador Dali etching that sold for around $21,000. They had a gorgeous photo album with 60 photos from the civil war (went for $3760) and a 400 year old book (the foreword by the grandson of Pope Paul III, sold for only $550).
The smallest item they’ve sold was a flake of gold (posted as a joke, but actually sold) and the largest, a sailboat.
Go check out the site! You can find anything from furs to jewelry to vintage toys to luxury labels. You’ll do yourself some good, but also help thousands of people get training for better jobs to make their world better too.