Does the snowy and cold weather make you sad? Does it seem like summer will never come and you’ll never see the sun again? Are you constantly asking yourself what you can do when the weather makes your face hurt? Try a Goodwill Scavenger Hunt! It’s a great way to spend a couple of hours and a little competition always makes things more exciting. It’ll be a fun experience for the whole family!
Before heading to your local Goodwill, make a list of random items that you can find at thrift stores. There’s a sample at the end of this post to give you some ideas! The list can range from a specific article of clothing to a VHS tape that you watched when you were a kid. You should include about 20 – 30 items so you’ll be spending a good part of your day at the store. Each person can either have the same or a different list, depending on how ambitious you’re feeling. If you want to make it even more exciting, allow your scavenger crew to go to multiple stores in order to complete their list. Once your lists are made up, give it to each participant and head over to your local Goodwill to let the games begin!
The goal of the scavenger hunt is to find each item, take a picture of it, and be the first one to finish your list. The winner can receive a prize of your choice or just have the satisfaction of knowing they won.
Goodwill Hunting List
- Red shoes
- Stuffed dog
- Phone with a chord
- Santa Clause
- Something blue and fuzzy
- Peace Signs
- Something that makes you LOL
- Desk chair
- A movie you’ve never heard of
- Throwback CD
- Valentine’s Day item
- A doll that may be haunted
- 1000 piece puzzle
- Green belt
- St. Patrick’s Day item
- Something you’d find at your grandparents’ house
- Purple t-shirt
- An item describing where you want to go on vacation
- An obscure painting
- Something with glitter
- Something that rolls
- A cookbook with a recipe you want to try
- A funny mug
- A dress for a wedding
- Goodwill Hunting (pun intended)
- The smallest pair of jeans you have ever seen
- Fanny pack
- A keyboard
- A statue you’d want to display in your bedroom
- A new centerpiece for your kitchen table
- Zebra print
It is now time to let the games begin! Bundle up the family or grab some friends and head to your local Goodwill. A warm store full of treasure and fun is waiting for you!
Need to clean your house and don’t have a lot of time?
Take our weekend challenge!
I was talking to my grandma on the way to the office today. She told me she’s planning on cleaning up her apartment to get rid of the clutter. My grandma is a very busy lady who is high in demand, so she really only has time to clean on the weekends. If you are a busy person but need to de-clutter your house, take the Goodwill Weekend Messy Mayhem Challenge! Because you only have two days and three nights, commit to cleaning out a few parts of your place each day. When Sunday night rolls around, you’ll have a clean home and a truckload of items to donate to Goodwill.
Main Floor Madness: Kitchen & Living Room
Your main floor is the area where all of your guests go when they come over. After dinner, begin going through your kitchen cabinets and put all the things you haven’t used in the past two months into a box. Get rid of duplicates and clean up your counter space. Get rid of any old silverware or table settings that haven’t been used since Christmas of 1985.
When you finish in the kitchen, move onto your living room. Start by the television and get rid of any VHS tapes you still have laying around and any CDs that you no longer listen to – don’t forget about all of the DVDs and Blu-Ray discs you no longer watch. Once you finish your entertainment area, head over to the bookshelf and take a look to see which books have collected the most dust. If your old kids’ books and cheesy romance novels haven’t been touched since 1995, it’s safe to put them in the Goodwill donation box to make room for some new reads.
Hidden Chaos: Crammed closets, Alarming Attic, and Gloomy Garage
If you haven’t worn it in the past year, you probably don’t need it and won’t miss it when it’s gone. Clean out your closets. Shoes, hats, blouses, pants, skirts; you name it, Goodwill would love to take it off of your hands! Once your closets have less clutter, make a pact to follow The Goodwill Closet Golden Rule: one in, one out. Every time you buy something new, get rid of something you already own.
After your closets are decluttered and looking spiffy, work your way to the attic and garage. Find old holiday décor that hasn’t been seen since you were a child? Donate it. Piles of things you forget you owed and haven’t used in years, donate them!
Sunday Fun Day: Office and bedrooms
We saved the best and easiest rooms for last. When you look around your bedroom, do you see trinkets and other odd objects you haven’t touched or used in years? I know I do! Start by clearing out all your old toys that another child could enjoy. Get rid of any jewelry or trinkets that no longer serve any use to you. Last, but not least, work your way to the office. No one wants to work in a messy space. This weekend cleanup is the perfect time to make sure your office is clean, starting the month organized. You have probably updated your computer, laptop, or tablet, so why hang on to the two old computers in the closet? Why keep old office supplies when you are always buying the newest edition and throwing the old ones into a box? Update your file cabinet; give up your old outdated computer equipment (working and non-working), and donate it all to Goodwill. We’ll wipe your equipment clean and recycle it in a safe way.
Well folks, you made it through the Weekend Messy Mayhem Challenge! Hooray! That wasn’t too bad, was it? Look at how clean your house is. Doesn’t it feel great? You should also feel great by knowing that all of your no longer needed items are going to be reused or recycled at your local Goodwill, where they will empower Eastern Nebraskans and Western Iowans and transform their lives. It’s now time to say goodbye to your donations and bring them over to Goodwill; we’ll take care of the rest.
Goodwill Program Offers Help to Those Re-Entering the Workforce
Gag gift exchanges seem to be the new normal for holiday parties, and it’s easy to understand why. You don’t have to spend hours deliberating over the “perfect gift” that shows how much you know your third cousin twice removed. And then said third cousin doesn’t have to pretend that she really needed those new oven mitts.
Gag gift exchanges are fun – and they’re easy on the pocketbook. My family puts a $5 limit on the exchange. Now, I have mastered the skill of Goodwill shopping for my gag gifts. Thrift stores are always great places to look for low-budget exchanges because our stores have so many unique items.
I see gag gifts as falling into two categories – ones that could be re-purposed and ones that are completely useless. The type of gift you buy really depends on your audience, what type of reaction you are looking for, and the mood you’re in. On a recent trip to the Benson Park Plaza Goodwill store, I found a few example of both.
On the more useful side, there is plenty to choose from. Goodwill has odd decorations, interesting pillows, or unusual household tools. Today, I found a Bubbles powerpuff girl pillow that could be re-purposed as a kid’s toy, three kind of cute half-man half-cupcake holders, a dancing chicken dressed as a Christmas tree that would be a unique decoration, and a creepy or cute sitting woman.
Then their are completely useless gag gifts. This category is definitely where my preference lies. I want the reaction from my gift to be something like “Uh… what? Where did you even find this? And why?” (To which I answer, “Yes. Goodwill. Because it’s awesome.”)
There were some great finds at Benson Park this trip. First up, a really creepy and sad seal statue. This seal could haunt your dreams – perfect. Next, a “Groovy Friends” door hanger. These two groovy chicks are just hanging out, playing on their cell phones – awesome. Third, a white toy cowboy hat – necessary. And last, my favorite, a copy of the riveting novel “Camcorder Basics” for those of us stuck in the 90s.
The best part about all of these gifts is the price – everything on this list was less than $3, which is well under my family’s $5 limit. And when you shop at Goodwill, you help people in our community find meaningful employment. People like Michael, who you can read about here.
Before YouthBuild, Michael’s life was not easy. He experienced bouts of homelessness and was a high school dropout.
“My life was horrible,” said Michael. “I was just sitting around wasting time. I couldn’t keep a job.”
It was a radio ad for Goodwill’s YouthBuild program that encouraged him to apply. While he wasn’t completely convinced the program would be a good fit, Michael enrolled anyway. After two weeks of probationary mental toughness exercises, Michael knew YouthBuild was for him. He was finally going to receive the help and support he needed to find a better place in his life.
Shortly afterwards, Michael made some bad decisions. He was convicted of a felony and was incarcerated. For the next two months, Michael sat in his cell, thinking about how he ruined his chance of changing his life. But the YouthBuild staff didn’t give up on him. They helped Michael work through the corrections system, keeping him on track to be released on time. Michael was able to re-enroll in YouthBuild, and in just one month he passed his required GED tests.
According to YouthBuild Manager Norman Barnes, Michael continues to strive for success. “Michael has served as a role model to other Youthbuild participants in the current class. He continues to provide leadership while involved in the follow-up process.”
Currently, Michael is taking classes at Metro Community College and working a full-time job that Goodwill helped him secure. He hopes to become a counselor and work with at-risk youth.
Without Goodwill, Michael doesn’t know where he’d be.
“I wish every person who is struggling like I did could have Goodwill. They made a big impact in my life,” said Michael.