Frequently Asked Questions

Get all of your questions answered here!  Take a look at the FAQs and if you still have questions, fill out the form at the bottom of the page and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible with an answer.  For our phone number and address, head over to our contact page.

Where Can I Donate?

You can donate at any Goodwill store.

Why Should I Donate to Goodwill Over Another Store?

Goodwill focuses on job training programs for the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin.  Our programs help people with disabilities or people looking for some more experience before heading out into the workforce.  As they obtain meaningful employment that work turns into a paycheck, which strengthens the local economy.

The ability to do something meaningful to support one’s self improves quality of life.  We offer employment opportunities where there may be no other.  By donating to Goodwill your donation will impact not only the person but the community.  We believe in a hand UP not a hand OUT.

If I Shop at Goodwill, am I Depriving People of Things They Need?

No.  Quite the contrary.  People need work more than anything, and Goodwill serves people by educating and training them into jobs.  These individuals gain resources to buy the things they need by being gainfully employed.  Sometimes that’s with employment at Goodwill, but opportunities to work outside of Goodwill exist too.

How Does Goodwill Overcome Employment Barriers?

Through a menu of different services, Goodwill gives personalized care to every person to find their strengths and weaknesses, interests, skill set, and more to help people grow and develop in their own way.  This is done through our Workforce Development and Training in conjunction with many different agencies across our district.

What Does It Mean When Asked to Round Up?

When we ask you to Round Up we are asking if you’d like to round your purchase to the next dollar increment and donate the “change”.  When you Round Up you are donating to our Mission Services or a specific cause which we will tell you when we ask.  For instance, we recently “Rounded Up” for Flood Relief in the Keweenaw.

Who Can I Contact About Store Policies?

Store managers are available to answer any questions you may have about sales, return policies and more.  Find a store to contact the one closest to you.

What Can I Donate?

Any gently-used items can be donated to Goodwill.  Apparel always seems to be in need, but furniture, games, books and housewares always find a home through our stores.  We now take all electronics.  There are some things that we do not take due to safety reasons but managers usually have discretion on certain items.  If you have any questions, please refer to our Donation Guidelines or contact the nearest store to you.  If we can’t take it, we try to network you with someone that can accept your donation.

If Goodwill Really a Non-Profit? Is It a Religious Organization?

Yes, all Goodwill Organizations — including ours — are a 501 (c) 3 non-profit. We take the money made through sales in the stores and put it toward the services and employees that help people gain meaningful employment across our region.

While Goodwill was initially started by Methodist minister and doctor, J. Edgar Helms, it was never a religious organization. Helms described Goodwill as an “industrial program as well as a social service enterprise … a provider of employment, training and rehabilitation for people of limited employability, and a source of temporary assistance for individuals whose resources were depleted.” Click here to watch a video on the history of Goodwill.

How is Goodwill Industries of Northern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan Different Than Other Goodwills?

While each independent Goodwill shares the singular mission of Changing Lives and Communities through the Power of Work, each region has different cultures as well as different societal barriers for employment. Factors like population density, primary language, and urban-vs-rural economies can all shape what programs are needed for an area. Flexibility and autonomy is created by breaking the country into regions making it easier to focus on the issues that impact us locally.

Still Have a Question? Let Us Know!