Spring weather is coming to much of the nation after a long and snowy winter, which makes Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois particularly grateful for Earth Day. Goodwill encourages people in the northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin area to take a few minutes this Earth Day to collect items they no longer need and donate them to Goodwill. Small actions, such as cleaning out closets or kitchen cupboards, can make a big difference when it comes to the environment.

Goodwill partners with schools, colleges, area businesses and other community organizations to host donation drives for kids and adults who want to give their clothing a second life.  By partnering with Goodwill, they make certain to take every step to make hosting a donation drive as simple for the host as possible and provide all the needed material.  They also turn children’s donation drives into learning events, teaching them how to do their part to keep the Earth clean and “reduce, reuse and repurpose”.

In 2013, Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois partnered with Northern Illinois University for the Give and Go! program, a campaign to encourage college students who are moving out of their dorm rooms to donate responsibly. While college students are among the most environmentally conscious demographic group as a whole, like everyone else, they are no strangers to waste. Every spring as the school year comes to an end, students move out of their dorm rooms and leave behind perfectly good clothing, electronics, books and furniture. The Give and Go! initiative encourages college students to take positive action by donating their items.  Since the start of the partnership, Goodwill has collected over 17,000 pounds of donations.

“With Earth Day now more than four decades old, more Americans than ever before are concerned about environmental issues,” said Sam Schmitz, President of Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois.  “Yet it is easy to lose track of the ways that one person can make a difference.  For almost 80 years, Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois has linked protecting the environment to helping people find jobs and strengthen their communities.” 

Another area in which nearly everyone — from high school students to senior citizens — is accumulating more than ever before is electronics.  Working electronic items can be donated too, but broken ones should be recycled responsibly in order to protect the environment.  Dell Reconnect, a partnership between Goodwill and Dell, has helped consumers, nation-wide, responsibly recycle more than 374 million pounds of computer electronics since 2004. Visit www.dellreconnect.com for more information.

To find your nearest Goodwill donation center, visit www.goodwillni.org