On-line auction in the public interest

Regular reader Professor Anita Bernstein writes to point out a sign of the times:

“There’s now a cross between Goodwill and eBay to sell & buy stuff, the first ever nonprofit online auction site: www.shopgoodwillcom.

It makes sense in a straitened economy that people should do their on-line auction shopping at second-hand stores, and it makes even more sense that the second-hand stores of choice should be those benefiting charities.  Thanks for bringing this new pro bono shopping opportunity to light.

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2 Responses to “On-line auction in the public interest”

  1. Dale Says:

    I only agree on one thing this said and that is the times are getting tough for a lot of people, but I totally disagree with what was wrote about the so called goodwill auctions. Here is why, not even a month ago in a neighboring town 4 houses caught fire and burned to the ground leaving those families without clothes, furniture, dishes, and places to sleep. There is a Goodwill store right there in the same town and guess what, they didn’t help one bit. It was local churches and 3 other PRIVATELY owned resale shops that stepped up and donated to these families. I know all this first hand because I own one of the shops that was there to help out. It just seems really funny to me that Goodwill can spend tons of money on buying new buildings and opening new stores, but when people need the help, they are limited on what they can get from Goodwill if they get anything at all as what happened recently. I believe in helping my neighbors, community and anyone that needs a helping hand and the recent events just solidified my faith in that. Leave it to the no bodies to step up where Goodwill falls short every time. So if you really need something, or are faced with losing everything you own, put your faith in your own town and community first and you will get all that you need.

    • Nonprofiteer Says:

      Goodwill Industries is surely more than capable of speaking for itself; but I feel compelled to note its own mission in assessing its response to the local emergency you describe:

      “We are North America’s leading nonprofit provider of education, training, and career services for people with disadvantages, such as welfare dependency, homelessness, and lack of education or work experience, as well as those with physical, mental and emotional disabilities. Last year, local Goodwills collectively provided employment and training services to more than 1.1 million individuals.”

      If therefore Goodwill doesn’t provide “clothes, furniture, dishes and places to sleep” to those who’ve been displaced by fire, that’s not an indictment of the agency. The Red Cross does that kind of work, and you don’t therefore criticize it for failing to provide job training.

      Agencies must work according to their mission. The Goodwill stores exist to provide resources for Goodwill to accomplish its mission. However frustrated we may be in a particular circumstance, let’s be fair in what we expect of the agencies working in our communities.

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