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Concierge Service Now Available

Unusual Donation Prompts Goodwill to Carve Out New Program

“Audentes fortuna iuvat (Fortune favors the bold).” — Virgil’s Aeneid, 29-19 B.C.

In 2021, two rather unusual pieces of garden art appeared on the sales floor of the Springfield Goodwill retail store. At first glance, one might have said that they weren’t up to Goodwill’s usual standards of quality, but the dented, dingy and incomplete statues had a certain old-world charm. 

Their appeal captivated at least one shopper — the owner of a Nashville area vintage shop — who purchased them at a low price and loaded them into her car. A few weeks later, she contacted her friend Danny Rhodes, Goodwill’s Director of Donation Acquisitions, and asked if he remembered the statues. As it happened, he did.

“Well, they are on their way to London right now,” the vintage shop owner told Rhodes. “They are from the late Roman period, and Sotheby’s (auction house) is trying to determine their provenance.”

Rhodes’ team of employees, which conducts home pickups for Goodwill, had packed and transported the precious statues along with many other items that were donated following a local estate sale. 

For Rhodes, the incident was more than just another Goodwill treasure-hunter’s tale of a successful thrift haul. It served as a reminder — chiseled in stone — of how valuable estate donations can be in supporting Goodwill’s nonprofit mission of changing lives through education, training and employment.

During the pandemic, the number of estates donations to Goodwill declined, in part because Goodwill lacked the manpower needed to assist homeowners and estate sale managers with packing large numbers of donated items. But Rhodes began planning for the launch of a new Concierge Program — an effortless, turnkey service for individuals, families or estate managers who are moving, downsizing or clearing out a home and want their household items and furnishings to benefit the community. 

The new service is now available in Middle Tennessee. After an initial in-home consultation, Goodwill’s trained movers will come to a donor’s home, pack and remove all of the acceptable contents, and allow those pre-loved items to make a difference in someone else’s life. The service is completely free (though there may be a cost associated with removing items Goodwill cannot accept). 

“Our experience allows us to support homeowners in making difficult decisions and assist with the time-consuming task of packing and moving items that are no longer needed — leaving the space ready for turnaround,” Rhodes explained. “We can take a lot of the hassle out of what can be a very difficult process for people when they move, and choosing Goodwill means your items will be handled in an environmentally friendly way and used to do good in the community.”

To carpe diem (seize the day) and schedule an assessment from Goodwill’s Concierge Program, contact program manager Crystal Schwartz at (615) 346-1604 or crystal.schwartz@givegw.org.  

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