by Shaun Knittel -
SGN Associate Editor
Want to find the best costume possible while giving back to those in need? George White, manager of public relations and communications at Tacoma Goodwill, says all you need to do is visit a Goodwill store and you can do just that.
Tired of the plastic imitation pirate belt and boots, or cheap imitation doctor's coat as a Halloween costume? What if you could visit a movie wardrobe department for your costume and pay only 20% of original cost? 'Now you can, thanks to modern Goodwill stores in Tacoma,' White said in a media release.
Over the past year, 8,000 truckloads of household, estate, and community donations were meticulously culled for Goodwill's Halloween costume product.
'That eerie bride's dress and hat become the real 'Ghost Lady' attire,' said White. 'Pirate coats, boots, and belts are real. And the same for pilot, soldier, fireman, doctor, and nurse attire. Now a 'She-Devil' can wear that fantastic red dress and Prada.'
NO ORDINARY STORE
So, where does the money go?
'Goodwill's mission is not retail, but to fight unemployment and poverty in the region through free job training, placement, and retention services - fueled by retail sales at 33 stores, our online business, and unsold donation recycling and salvage efforts,' said White.
'Goodwill thrift stores have come a long way in the past five years, much to the glee of in-the-know last-minute school shoppers,' he continued. 'New is the 'fashion forward' style of merchandising and store layouts, reflecting a Kohl's or Marshall's display of clothing and accessories. What has not changed is thrift store pricing - think 60 to 90% off for fashion brands.'
COSTUME SHOPPING TIPS
Killer Halloween costumes require brainstorming and access to wardrobe/props, so White recommends:
o Combine ideas from online and store staff. Goodwill store inventory is unique so employees specialize in turning ideas into quality costumes. Staff has a costume idea book from years of experience and creativity. Google '50 best Halloween costumes' for endless ideas, then bring them in.
o Shop early and often. A couple of stores within minutes of each other allow you to browse thousands of unique products. Donations come out several times a day, and unlike other retail the inventory is unique - meaning a vast selection at each store.
o Think outside the Halloween department. The aforementioned Ghost Lady attire would include a dress from wedding and gown, a hat from accessories, and shoes from the shoe department.
Above all, know your money is helping someone get a job. Goodwill trains and places people with the help of 800 companies throughout the region. Its programs serve the people hardest-hit in this economy, such as transitioning veterans, older job seekers, people with limited income for education/training, and persons with disabilities. By shopping at Goodwill, you are also helping the environment by keeping usable clothing and other items out of landfills.
MORE ABOUT GOODWILL
Goodwill Industries provides innovative job placement, career training, and education to connect Americans with a higher quality of life. As a unique nonprofit business, Goodwill thrift shop revenue and public donations fuel programs that help people with limited income, disabilities, and other disadvantages to overcome barriers to employment. This year alone, Tacoma Goodwill Industries will help 9,000 people with education, job training, and placement, so they can become independent self-supporting citizens. Of these, more than 2,200 people will be offered office, culinary, barista, catering, retail, custodial, warehouse, transportation, and logistics careers, thanks to partnerships with 800 companies across Washington. These critical career development and placement services are funded through generous financial gifts, grants, fees, commercial services, and the operation of 33 thrift stores throughout Western and South Central Washington. For more information, visit www.tacomagoodwill.org.
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