What happens to items given to the Goodwill truck in town?
It’s one of those things that you see so often, you don’t really notice it at all. Like your ears or the fire hydrant along your road. But this time something about it drew my attention. The Goodwill trailer had changed. Indeed, it had been given a new white facade and logo. And noticing, I altered course. I was going to the town transfer station, but now I reconsidered the best repository of the functional mini-fridge on the front passenger seat. I pulled into the dirt apron in front of the 40-footer.
“Do you want this?” I asked the polite fellow standing at the top of the wooden stepped entry. Very much so. And then we got to chatting. As it turns out, the Goodwill trailer is about the most open business in town—manned seven days a week, from 8 a.m. through 7 p.m. on Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Telephone is 203-431-9754. The trailer has been there over 30 years and Goodwill says it’s one of their most successful locations.
It was quickly apparent to me that Saturdays are prime, for during my brief visit, six more cars arrived to hand stuff over. By far the most stuff by volume is clothing. But almost anything in a typical household—including jewelry, small appliances, flat screen TVs—is welcome. There are standards and exceptions, of course. While “gently used” goods are prized, the donated things can’t be torn or broken. No firearms, flammables, mattresses, box springs, newspapers, magazines, nor baby furniture—the liability is too great—will be accepted. Goodwill does accept tables and other large furniture, but donors are directed to other locations since the Ridgefield trailer simply doesn’t have the space.
Donated goods are transferred to one of Goodwill’s several stores in the area—the closest are in Danbury and Bethel. Proceeds are then used to fund programs to help people overcome barriers to employment and return to the work force—the century-old non-profit’s sole mission.