Traditionally the week between Christmas and New Year's is one of the busiest donation weeks of the year for Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida. Today is the final day that people can donate items to Goodwill and earn a deduction for tax purposes.
"This week has been really good," said Goodwill spokesperson Madison Mitchell. "It's on par with previous years. I don't have any numbers yet, but it is on track to finish strong."
To take advantage of a tax deduction for 2013, housewares, clothing, computers, furnishings and even cars must be taken to a donation center before 6 p.m. today.
Goodwill Industries retail outlets have generated enough revenue to assist a record 35,000 individuals in Southwest Florida in 3013.
"That's when our stores will close," said Mitchell. "Revenue from our resales have enabled us to help more than 35,000 individuals this year, which is an all-time high. We helped 30,000 last year. We are growing every year and expanding our services and programs into areas we have not been before."
Goodwill counts on people cleaning out their closets and homes as the year comes to an end by donating their gently-used items and replacing them with new items received or purchased during the holidays.
Goodwill provides life-changing opportunities through job training, transportation assistance, housing, education and other services for people with disabilities and disadvantages. Goodwill also partners with Dell and Microsoft to refurbish donated computers.
"Working with these certified programs, people can feel safe that all the information on their donated computers will be stripped off," said Mitchell. "We've had this service for a couple of years now."
Clothing and home goods continue to be the top items donated to Goodwill, added Mitchell.
Goodwill recently moved its headquarters for serving Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties to a new location at 5100 Tice St., in Fort Myers.
Programs include Goodwill's L.I.F.E. Academy, a charter school for students with intellectual disabilities ages 11 through 22, Job-Link career training and placement services, and income-sensitive housing for people with disabilities and senior citizens.
"We just expanded our high school high-tech program, which teaches students vocational skills, into Collier County," said Mitchell.
There are three Goodwill loctions in the city of Cape Coral: 4716 Chiquita Blvd. (239-549-3614); 1500 N.E. Pine Island Road (239-772-3535; and 3226 Del Prado Blvd., S. (239-542-2212).
For more information on programs and services, and a complete list of Goodwill's Southwest Florida locations and store hours, visit www.goodwillswfl.org.