BEND, OR -- Goodwill donation centers across the region are busy, this week; the Bend store alone expects to take in nearly 179,000 pounds of donations from around 3,000 people during the last two weeks of 2017. "Our donors this year, again, are breaking the worldwide record of what we believe will be 250 million pounds just for our area," says Dale Emanuel, with Goodwill Industries of the Columbia Willamette. She says the Bend and Redmond donation sites have seen about a 5% increase in donations, this year.
While the tax reform bill means this could be the last year many take advantage of the charitable giving tax deduction, Emanuel doesn’t believe it will have an impact on next year’s numbers. She says the top reason donors give items to Goodwill is convenience, "Our number one donor is a woman; she’s very busy and doing a lot of things at once. The second reason that we’re told donations happen in this part of the country – to us, specifically – is because we love to recycle. And the third reason is that something good will happen with the something we give." She tells KBND News the tax benefit is lower on the priority list for most Goodwill donors. "It’s only the last two months of the year that we see about seven out of 10 people ask for the tax receipt. But, the rest of the year – that’s a good 10 months – it’s only three out of 10."
If you do plan to itemize your deductions, Emanuel suggests taking photos of donated items before you drop them off, and visit the store to determine their "real market" value. "That might help you, as you go to your accountant and you itemize those things to give. This truly might be the last year that a lot of folks itemize and a lot of folks ask for that tax receipt."
And, for those wanting to give large items, she suggests calling the donation site ahead of time, "Call and say, ‘do you have room for XYZ?’ If you have a truckload of furniture, we don’t want to say no to you; so, sometimes we have to tell you ‘wait'." They can’t accept mattresses, infant supplies like high chairs and cribs, or large appliances. Click HERE for a full list of prohibited items.