What is Goodwill Industries?

Goodwill is an international non-profit agency and one of the world’s largest providers of education, training, and career services for people with disabilities and disadvantages. All Goodwill organizations are operated independently. We all have very similar missions, but how we accomplish those missions varies from Goodwill to Goodwill. There are four Goodwills in NC and nearly 200 Goodwill organizations around the world. For more information on Goodwill Industries International, please visit goodwill.org.

What is your mission?

We create opportunities for people to enhance their lives through training, workforce development services and collaboration with other community organizations.

Do all the Goodwills around the country do what you do?

No. All Goodwills are operated independently. We all have very similar missions, but how we accomplish those missions varies from Goodwill to Goodwill. There are four Goodwills in NC and nearly 200 Goodwill organizations around the world. For more information on Goodwill Industries International, Inc., please visit www.goodwill.org.

I’d like to donate, but with so many charities out there, it’s hard to trust that my donation will be put to good use. How can I choose?

Goodwill qualifies as a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. As a non-profit organization, we take our responsibilities to the public very seriously. Goodwill urges individuals to investigate charitable organizations before giving. For more information on Goodwill and other nonprofits, visit the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance website at give.org or the IRS website at irs.gov.

Who do you serve?

Goodwill is a community-based organization open to serving individuals seeking job training and education. We provide a wide range of training, placement and workforce development services to help people develop the skills they need to find jobs and become more independent.

Where are the workforce development programs offered?

Our programs are offered at 18 sites across northwest NC. We have workforce development centers in Buncombe, Catawba, Forsyth and Iredell Counties. We also have resource centers offering programs in partnership with community colleges, such as Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute, and Mitchell Community College, and services in collaboration with other agencies, such as the Department of Social Services and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Goodwill offers free services at our Career Connections Centers to aid in your job search. The centers are located in Asheville, Elkin, Hendersonville, Lexington, Mount Airy, Salisbury, Statesville, Waynesville, Wilkesboro and Winston-Salem. For more information on workforce development training programs and center locations, click here.

What services do you provide?
  • Career planning and preparation
  • Career training
  • Vocational evaluation
  • Work experience
  • Employment and retention services
  • Skills training classes:
  • Healthcare (personal care assistant, certified nursing assistant, pharmacy assistant , medical terminology & coding, medication technician, electronic medical records)
  • Housekeeping/floor care
  • Food service
  • Skilled trades (introduction to electricity, HVAC, plumbing, forklift, welding, masonry)
  • Customer service
  • Computer/office technology
  • Hospitality skills
  • English as a second language (ESL)
How are those you serve referred to your program?

Many of our participants are referred to us by government agencies such as the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Workforce Development Department, the Veterans Administration, the Employment Security Commission, Mental Health, the NC Cooperative Extension Service, Department of Corrections and the Department of Social Services. Others are referred by community colleges, local school systems and the United Way. A large number of individuals are self-referred or are referred by members of their families or friends. All of Goodwill’s programs are open to the public.

How much do your services cost?

The cost of classes and services vary greatly based on subject and length. The majority of the costs incurred by Goodwill in offering workforce development programs are covered through our retail and contract services operations. Referring agencies also subsidize the cost of the programs in which their clients participate. Through our Outreach Scholarship Fund, we make every effort to provide tuition assistance to individuals who demonstrate financial need and a willingness to participate fully in our programs.

How many stores do you have?

We operate 44 retail stores and 3 outlet stores throughout northwest NC. For a complete list of stores visit our Shopping section.

Where can I donate?

Donations are accepted at all 40 retail stores and over 50 attended donation centers throughout northwest NC. For a complete list of locations and hours of operations, click here.

Will you pick up my donations at home?

We provide limited pick-up services for large items and/or large quantities within Forsyth County only. For more information on pick-up services, please call (336) 201-0800. We have established over 50 attended donation centers (ADCs) throughout our region to provide convenient locations for donating items. In addition, our retail stores have drive-thru service for dropping off your donations.

What donations do you like to receive?

The following list of most needed items is to be used as a guideline. There are many items that we can use in the stores which are not on the list. If you have questions regarding an item you would like to donate, please consult the store manager or call the Transportation Department at (336) 201-0800.

  • Clothing
  • Books, records, tapes
  • Furniture
  • Collectible items
  • Jewelry, antiques
  • Infant items
  • Household items (dishes, housewares, etc.)
  • Domestics (linens, etc.)
  • Small electrical (radios, televisions, clocks, lamps, etc.)
  • Shoes, accessories (handbags, ties, belts, scarves, etc.)
  • Electronic equipment including computers, printers and monitors – Goodwill partners with Dell in Reconnect, an environmentally responsible computer recycling program
What donations do you not want?

It’s hard to say “no thank you” to a donation, but, please know that if an item is not in clean, saleable condition, the costs of handling or disposal will pull funds that would otherwise support programs and services. Management reserves the right to refuse any donation. Please dispose of these items through an alternative responsible resource, such as your local recycling center. Unfortunately, we cannot accept the following:

  • Large household appliances (stoves, refrigerators, washers, dryers, etc.)
  • Items which do not work (televisions, microwave ovens, copy machines)
  • Building materials (carpet, shutters, doors, windows, bricks, etc.)
  • Mattresses, box springs
  • Upholstered couches and chairs which are torn, soiled or otherwise damaged
  • Televisions as follows:
  • Large console model televisions and stereos are extremely heavy and present a danger to our employees.
  • Non-cable-ready TVs cannot be connected to digital converter boxes and have no resell value.
  • Broken/damaged TVs are potentially dangerous and have no resell value.
  • Black and white TVs have no resell value
  • Automobile parts (tires, wheels, batteries, seats, etc.)
  • Paint or chemicals of any kind
  • Kerosene and gas heaters and appliances
  • CPSC frequently recalled items. Infant furniture, car seats, exercise equipment, baby cribs, strollers, carriages, playpens/play yards, children’s items containing lead or phthalates.
What do you do with the donations you receive?

They are processed and non-saleable items are separated from the saleable items. Saleable items are sorted into major retail categories (shoes, accessories, housewares, etc.), priced and then moved to a Goodwill retail sales floor. Clothing, shoes, CDs, books, etc. not sold in our retail stores are sold to recyclers. Children’s books that remain unsold are donated to nonprofit agencies and other organizations that provide services for underprivileged children. Through sales in retail stores and recycling operations, Goodwill helps the environment by recycling millions of pounds of goods each year that would otherwise end up in our landfills.

Since the clothing is donated, why can’t you give clothing for free to people in need?

The donations are not free. Goodwill incurs costs associated with staffing donation centers, maintaining physical facilities (stores) and ADCs, a fleet of trucks to move the materials, and personnel required at stores to process, price and sell the merchandise. Since its inception over one hundred years ago, Goodwill’s philosophy has been based on teaching people to support themselves. We do not give charity or welfare – we give people a chance. There are other organizations with missions to provide this type of service. If Goodwill were to provide this type of service, it would compromise our primary mission of helping people with disabilities and special needs.

There is a lot of misinformation about Goodwill online and on social media.  Learn the facts and donate/shop with confidence.

Why are the prices in your stores so high?

Our prices are competitive with demand. We establish prices by surveying the market. We make sure we are selling excellent quality merchandise for a price lower than new low-quality merchandise. To ensure a continuous influx of quality donations, we cannot allow our items to be priced too low. Many of our donors would become discouraged if we sold their quality donations at extremely low prices. Our supply of goods for sale depends on our donors who expect that we value their donations properly and we are committed to maximizing the impact of their generosity to support our mission.

What do you do with the money you make from donated goods?

Revenue raised from the sale of items in Goodwill retail stores underwrites our training programs. Goodwill’s programs provide services that help people become more independent. For more information on our training programs, click here.

There is a lot of misinformation about Goodwill online and on social media.  Learn the facts and donate/shop with confidence.


Goodwill Industries and Dell partnered to create RECONNECT, a FREE program for consumers to reuse and responsibly recycle unwanted electronics – any brand, any condition. Simply bring your donation of computers, monitors, printers and computer peripherals to any Goodwill donation center or retail store. Proceeds from the resale value of donations are returned to Goodwill to support training programs and the recycling process creates job opportunities for people with barriers to employment. For more information, visit goodwillpc.org.