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Pouches' Community Corner

Many of us may be familiar with our local Goodwill as a great location to shop or to donate, but have you ever given thought to how your donation or shopping dollars help our local community? Did you know that every square inch of every Goodwill facility supports the mission to link people with barriers to employment, especially those with disabilities, to work? Did you know that Goodwill provides free computer access and job search training to those in our area seeking employment?

Pouches Goodwill

Rappahannock Goodwill Industries wants you to Rethink Goodwill. Be informed about what your donation is doing and find out other ways that you can help beyond a bag of clothing.

• Rappahannock Goodwill Job Help Centers are always in need of individuals with great communication skills and experience using computers to help others navigate today’s job market.
• Goodwill accepts donations of cars, vans and even boats!
• Support Goodwill through a financial contribution or through AmazonSmile.

Each month, Goodwill offers tours so visitors can get a first-hand look at the mission of Rappahannock Goodwill Industries and catch the excitement of all that Goodwill accomplishes. As stated by RGI’s President and CEO, Donnie Tolson “You haven’t seen Goodwill, unless you really see Goodwill.”

For more information on RGI and what you can do to help, read on for more information, or go to

What items does Goodwill accept for donations?
Goodwill can accept just about anything! Goodwill will gladly accept gently used clothing, household items, computers, and even automobiles, boats, RVs, and more! Since we do not have the resources to repair broken objects, please do not donate items which are in need of repair (except for vehicles which are accepted in any condition). There are some items we cannot accept including flammables, weapons, box style TVs, mattresses and box springs, furniture that is torn, broken, or stained, or any item that has been recalled. See the complete list at

What happens to the stuff I donate?
We process most items we receive at our donation centers. The items are sorted, price tagged, and then distributed to our stores for people to buy. If any items are not in good shape, we will attempt to sell them for recycling or they might have to be taken to the landfill.

How do my donations of household items and clothes actually help the community?
What you donate helps in a lot of different ways! We hire people to process all the items donated. We also hire associates to work in our stores. When stuff is sold, we use those revenues for hiring as well as to provide job assistance to people looking for jobs. We operate 4 Goodwill Job Help Centers in our region which provide free service to people looking for employment. These are funded in part through sales of donated items in our stores.

What is your mission?
We create jobs locally, prepare people to succeed at work, and help them overcome barriers to employment.

When you say, “barriers to employment” what do you mean?
A barrier to employment is anything that might be holding someone back from being able to enter the workforce or maintain a job. Someone with a barrier to employment might have a physical or cognitive disability, have a criminal record and be re-entering the world of work, or need assistance with literacy skills so they can complete a job application.

How can I help Goodwill besides donations of stuff?
We appreciate people donating their time to help in our literacy programs and/or our Job Help Centers. We also accept financial contributions which can be targeted to providing services to more people in our region.

How does RGI set pricing in its stores?
Even though items are donated to Goodwill, there are costs involved in the processing and sale of each item. And, as a not-for-profit organization, our mission is to help people with employment services. Therefore, we set our prices to cover our costs and allow us to provide job assistance to people in our region.

Are all Goodwill agencies the same throughout the country?
Each Goodwill agency is operated independently in the community they serve. Rappahannock Goodwill is a member agency of Goodwill Industries International which provides guidance and support and gives us the opportunity to use the Goodwill name.

How do you help someone find a job?
It really depends on the individual and their needs. We operate with a “person-centered” approach which means we assess the individual needing assistance and help them develop a plan for action. In some cases that means we give them advice on their resume, cover letter, and interviewing skills. Others need more intensive support, and in those cases we can provide an employment specialist who helps them find a job and continues to work with them to make sure they are successful in their employment.

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