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The holiday season is often a time of excess.
When the holidays are over, many people vow to rid themselves of those extra things, whether its clothing, unwanted gifts or out-of-date electronics.
The impending new year is one of the busiest times for Goodwill Industries, which sees donations increase across the state as residents adopt an "out with the old, in with the new" mentality.
The Goodwill on Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard in Hickory received more than 150 donations Wednesday, which is twice the amount of donations the store receives on average.
Goodwill district manager Summer Hatley said the store receives more household items and toys during the new-year holiday. These donations, Hatley said, often come from people who want to clean out their homes to make room for Christmas gifts. Goodwill also receives more new items after Christmas when people donate unwanted gift items.
The items also increase in value this time of year. People are more likely to bring in larger-ticket items, Hatley said.
Another reason for Goodwill's seasonal increase in donations is donors' desire to increase their income tax deductions before tax season starts, said Goodwill marketing vice president Jaymie A. Eichorn.
Donations to Goodwill are tax-deductible, but the organization doesn't assign value to the donations. The valuation is left to the Internal Revenue Service, Eichorn said. To make the valuation process easier, Goodwill recently announced a partnership with CharityDeductions.com, which helps people value their donations and maximize their tax return.
"Whether you're donating because it's the season of giving or because you want to take advantage of the charitable deduction on your taxes, you'll be helping Goodwill to help people achieve economic independence and a better quality of life," said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International.
People who previously donated to Goodwill received a receipt of their donation from the store.
CharityDeductions.com provides a fair, market-value price for those donations based on the company's database from eBay.
"We're excited to partner with Goodwill," said David Anderson, founder of CharityDeductions.com. "Our services and goals are a natural complement for one another. It's our hope this partnership will encourage people to donate more, because they can claim higher values than they would have guessed, save more on their taxes and be able to substantiate the values used if they're audited."
This influx of seasonal donations is much appreciated by Goodwill staff.
"Donations are as critical now as ever," Eichorn said.
Goodwill's donations dropped in 2009 following the onset of the economic downturn.
"People weren't donating as much," Eichorn said. "They were trying to keep things longer."
Donations increased in the past year as the economy improved, but Hatley said a need always exists for people wanting to donate.
"We always have a huge need for donations," Hatley said, adding Catawba County has two Goodwill retail locations. "All donations go back to our mission."
Goodwill Industries International aims to provide employment opportunities and workforce development programs to help the unemployed find a job and gain independence.
There are 35 retail stores and 61 donation centers located throughout northwest North Carolina to accommodate the season's donors and shoppers.