4 Go-To Tips for Shopping the Goodwill Racks

1. Make a mood board or inspiration board reflecting your style.

The colors and aesthetic you choose will help narrow your search.


2. If you’re not having much luck in your department, search in the others!

Smaller sizes can fit in larger boy’s clothes, or for over-sized clothing hunt in the men’s

section. For something satiny or drapier, check out the pjs for satin/silk tops, slips, etc.

3. Don’t be afraid of customizing if you can’t find just the right thing!

Being short, I cut my jeans or crop oversized shirts to keep from looking too big.

4. Search for pieces that you can wear multiple ways!

Flannels are a perfect example of this! You can make so many different outfits from just

one shirt. (And you can combine two tips and search in the men’s for some cozy

oversized flannels)


Here are some of the pieces I picked up using these tips!

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I grabbed this charcoal turtleneck and tan jacket from the Route 62 Goodwill in Canton and threw on a pair of jeans to go with it! It’s super cozy and definitely fits the aesthetic I set up in my mood board! This is the best part about making a board for inspiration- you know exactly what colors and prints to go for. This is especially helpful if you are limited on time but still want to squeeze in a thrifting trip!

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This outfit is the perfect fall color scheme and it’s even more perfect because it’s all thrifted! I picked up this speckled sweater from the Goodwill in Jackson and paired it with a quirky rust-colored corduroy pant. I like these pieces together so much, it might even be my Thanksgiving outfit!


This last outfit is drawn from my last tip of shopping in other departments. I got this flannel from the men’s section at the West Tuscarawas Goodwill. It’s super easy to style and make oversized clothes work, especially in the colder weather. I paired it with a plain white tee and a black denim jacket. My pleather leggings are from the Jackson Goodwill, and they add a fun little edge to the outfit! 

Shopping the racks of Goodwill can be intimidating, but if you go in with a game plan it is easier to focus on what you actually want in your wardrobe! It’s definitely not necessary to use all of these tips, but they’re great to keep in mind next time you’re in a bind. It’s crazy how much time you can save when you’re not wandering aimlessly (though that’s fun, too!) Holidays are a crazy shopping time and just time in general for everyone, so minimize the time shopping! Who knows, you may even find some gifts when you pop in!

Drive to Victory 2019

Last week wrapped up Goodwill’s second year of Drive to Victory. This friendly competition challenged schools to donate the most goods to Goodwill Industries the week leading up to a rival football game. This competition is powered by The Repository, FridayNightOhio.com and iHeartMedia and sponsored by the Canton Regional Chamber and Stark Educational Service Centerfor the northern schools. Southern schools were powered by WTOV and sponsored by Trinity Health Systems.

All Sponsor LogoOver the past seven weeks, twenty-two local schools have competed off the field for a chance to win a scholarship for their school. Their combined efforts have brought in 69,770 lbs. of donations the equivalent of FIVE African bush elephants if you were wondering.

Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio operates a network of 23 retail stores where donated goods are sold. Funds from those stores support a wide network of community programs including employment training for people with disabilities and other barriers to employments, family strengthening programs for those in crisis and rape crisis services for victims of sexual assault in our community. Last year alone, Goodwill supported more than 14,000 individuals through its outreach programs. 

Img 5573 Presenting check to Carrollton Schools

Carrollton Schools were able to use the scholarship to benefit Jacob Baker a community member who has a disability of his own. After a car accident that paralyzed Jacob from the waist down, he began to look for other outlets to keep him active. His high school track team turned out to be just the ticket. Jacob qualified with the fasted time in the state of Ohio for the 100-meter Wheelchair Dash last season. Carrollton’s Drive to Victory Scholarship along with the support of their community helped raise money for a new racing wheelchair for Jacob to compete this season. 

Drive to Victory 




Canton South  Northwest 7,988 ESC/Canton Chamber
 McKinley  North Canton 4,691 ESC/Canton Chamber
Steubenville Big Red Dover 7,581 Trinity Health Systems
Jackson Glenoak 3,380 ESC/Canton Chamber
Carrollton Central Catholic 10,580 ESC/Canton Chamber
Tusc Central Catholic  East Canton  4,084 ESC/Canton Chamber
Lake  Perry 6,323 ESC/Canton Chamber
Massillon* Louisville 14,036 ESC/Canton Chamber
Steubenville Catholic Central Madonna 5,878 Trinity Health Systems
Brooke  Weir High 2,796  Trinity Health Systems
Alliance  Marlington 2,433  ESC/Canton Chamber

*Massillon had the most donations overall at 9,483 lbs. (All donations are listed in pounds.)

Graveyard Pudding

The Halloween season is upon us and with that comes lots of Halloween get togethers. It’s always fun creating themed treats that kids and adults alike will enjoy. This year, I decided to put a spooky fall twist on one of my favorite desserts, dirt pudding. 

When I saw Milano cookies decorated as tombstones on Pinterest, it reminded me of how much you can do to make dirt pudding more on theme. Like adding candy worms for a summer cookout or toy shovels/trucks for a childs birthday party. 

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I wanted these treats to feel a little more high-end without a high-end price tag. Making the pudding as individual sized options instead of one big batch of pudding was the first step. This option feels more formal and is a great way to portion out the right amount for guests. As I didn’t have small matching glasses already, I headed straight to Goodwill.


Shopping the North Canton Goodwill, I found a set of four glasses for $4 (but were the half price color of the week), a set of 6 for $2, and 2 glasses each .50¢ all the perfect size. I liked that they were all different shapes and sizes as it added the kooky feel I was going for. Plus, the different sizes allow guest to choose the portion size that best suits them.


  • 1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree (1 3/4 cup)
  • 1 (5 oz) box instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 an 8 oz container cool whip
  • 1 package oreos, crushed
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 8 Milano cookies
  • Handful chocolate chips

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For the pudding:

  1. Combine evaporated milk, pumpkin puree, and pudding in a bowl, and beat with an electric mixer until mixture is smooth and well combined, approximately 2 minutes. Refrigerate for 5 minutes then stir in cinnamon and the cool whip. Refrigerate mixture until ready to serve.
  2. In a bowl, combine crushed Oreos and melted butter. Set aside.

For the tombstone cookies:

  1. Line the Milano cookies up on a baking sheet or wax paper.
  2. Melt the chocolate in the microwave then place it in a plastic bag. Cut a tiny hole in the corner of the plastic bag then push the chocolate to the corner.
  3. Use the melted chocolate to write out RIP on the top of each of the cookies. Allow to dry.
  4. To serve, layer Oreos in the bottom of the glasses. Spoon pudding to about 3/4 of the way full then finish with another layer of Oreos. Stake the Milano cookies in the pudding mixture, with the RIP on top. **This will serve different amounts depending on how big your glasses are. This will be enough for 8 juice size glasses or 4 large drinking glasses.


Because all the glasses are different sizes, this recipe could make a varied number of servings. I was able to create 10 individual cups which is perfect for my get together. While I was at Goodwill, I also picked up some spider web décor for $1 and some super cute Halloween pins for $2 to dress up the dessert table. All together I spent $8 to create this spooky and fun vibe that all my guests loved.

Family Halloween Costumes

Is there anything cuter than family Halloween costumes? Okay, maybe family jammies at Christmas. But when it comes to Halloween, I think it becomes even more fun when you have kids.

If youʼre anything like me though, you hate to pay $40-$50 per family member for a Halloween costume. So if youʼre looking for a one stop Halloween shop that is not going to cost you a fortune, I highly recommend checking out your local Goodwill. Goodwill has it all when it comes to Halloween; costumes for all ages, makeup, decor, and even pet costumes!

Last year, my family went as 101 Dalmatians characters. My husbandʼs hat and coat both came from Goodwill. The hat cost $3 and the coat was $10. I also found my fur coat from Goodwill which was only $15! All three costumes were under $40!!

Family 1

This Halloween, my husband and son are hunters and I am a little (pregnant) deer! This was the easiest family costume to pull off. My husband is already an avid hunter with plenty of hunting gear and my son had a camo t-shirt and a toy bow and arrow to add to his costume. This was a guaranteed win for our family.

 Fur Vest

I found my fur vest at the Jackson Township Goodwill for only $6 and my sonʼs camouflage pants for $3! The rest of our outfits we had laying around our closets. And just like that we have Halloween costumes for under $10! Thank you, Goodwill!!

Family 2 Family 3

If you and your family will be creating a group costume, here are a couple of tips to help you out.

1. Choosing a Theme

Deciding a group costume can be difficult, pick something the whole family will be excited about (including dad!). As my husband already loves hunting and my son wants to be just like dad they were both on board with this idea. Plus, my son will love driving his mini jeep from house to house.

2. Plan Ahead

Give yourself plenty of time to see what works and what doesn't. Also, plenty of time to thrift shop! You may not find everything you need in one trip. The sales floor is constantly changing, you'd be surprised what you'll find if you stop back a couple of days later.

3. Get Creative with Materials

Buying accessories to match your character can get expensive fast. Instead look for materials to recreate items yourself.  For my deer costume, I made my own head band using items found around the house and saved our family $20!

I hope these family costume ideas and tips inspire your family as well. And help you save some extra money while giving back to the community this Halloween!

Be sure to share your finished looks on Instagram by tagging @goodwillgoodskills and #GoodwillHaunting.

Thrift Tips for Halloween

If you are not typically a thrift shopper throughout the year, this is the season to change your ways and consider shopping at thrift stores like Goodwill for your Halloween needs.

Americans spend a terrifying amount on Halloween each year; typically $169 to $183 per person. Costumes represent 42% of that annual investment.

For those that have shopped one of the big box Halloween shops, this high price tag is no surprise. Kids costumes typically start at $30 or more and adult costumes can be $50 or more.

Thrift stores like Goodwill offer a less expensive, environmentally friendly and community supportive option for trick or treaters.


  • Goodwill boasts prices 50-90% off retail prices including Halloween costumes
  • Purchases made at local Goodwill stores support a network of outreach programs that helped more than 14,000 local residents last year
  • More than 12.8 million pounds were diverted from are landfills by local Goodwill stores

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All year, Goodwill stores in the Cleveland area have been collecting Halloween costumes and apparel so they can now unveil their Halloween BOO-tique for shoppers.

On a recent visit to a Cleveland area Goodwill store, there were hundreds of costumes to choose from, most priced at a fraction of the pop-up Halloween mega-stores. Sorted by theme, the Goodwill racks were overflowing with both new and used costumes, makeup and décor.

Go in with an open mind.

Although thrift stores like Goodwill offer a wide variety of costume options, keep an open mind when you are searching for your Halloween get-up. Each store has thousands of individual and unique items. Products change daily. Actually, most stores have products changing by the hour, so if you don’t find exactly what you are looking for on your first visit, stop back and you will be pleasantly surprised by the turnover of product.


Ask for help/ideas

Most thrift stores like Goodwill have staff ready to assist you with ideas and even willing to scour the racks to help you complete your perfect Halloween costume. Found a pink dress, but not sure what to turn it into? Ask! Staff are willing to find you a tiara for the perfect princess costume or even offer suggestions of how you can zombi-fy the dress for a spookier option.


Consider using elements from your own wardrobe

New and used products at stores like Goodwill will be far less expensive than large retailers, but you can save even more on your costume by using elements from your own closet. Use a little black dress from your work wardrobe and pair with pearls, sunglasses and gloves from Goodwill to make a Breakfast at Tiffany’s inspired Hepburn look. An old pair of overalls? Purchase a flannel shirt and straw hat to become a farmer or scarecrow. Bow tie? Score a pair of plaid pants, thick glasses and a pocket protector at Goodwill for the perfect nerd costume.

Make it a family affair

Thrift stores cater to adults, children and even pets. For the price of just one packaged costume from large retailers, most families can dress the whole gang at a thrift store. With lower prices and wide variety, parents can allow the little ones to be creative and choose their own costumes at thrift stores. And, yes, even the pets won’t be left out. During a visit to a local Goodwill, there was a selection of more than 20 different pet costumes all priced less than $15.


Think thrift after Halloween

Once Halloween is over and you have devoured one too many Reese’s cups, do something good for the community by donating back any costumes you no longer want or need. Thrift stores like Goodwill depend on donations of Halloween costumes, clothing and other household goods to keep their shelves and racks stocked year round.

 Baltimore Studio Kmp7623

Happy haunting this Halloween and happy shopping, hopefully at local thrift stores where you and your entire family can find good prices, help support the environment and help support community programs.


Creative Halloween Costumes

Halloween has transformed from a one-night event into an entire month celebration, and I am HERE for it! I secretly have had my house decorated since late August because I am literally obsessed with all things autumn. My house smells like pumpkins, leaves, and apples, and nearly every surface on my first floor is covered in orange and black. So if you’re anything like me, you’ve already got your Halloween costume planned, crafted, and ready to party in… But if you’re like most, and a Halloween costume is a last-minute ordeal for you, I am here to help!


Goodwill is like the golden ticket to finding your Halloween costume. Gone should be the days of going out and buying a packaged costume for 40+ dollars when there is literally racks upon racks upon racks of hidden gems waiting to be transformed for a fraction of that cost while also supporting an organization that does so much for our community.

There are some costumes you can create with absolute certainty you’ll find a huge selection of options. Dressing in an era such as the ’80s and ’90s or dressing as a grandma or grandpa are two of the easiest. Another super easy way to shop at Goodwill for a costume is to simply look at the Halloween racks! The North Olmsted location, for example, had so many ready to wear used costumes that it takes the stress out of scouring the entire store for what you’re looking for. But if you’re looking to put together something a little more unique, I have some tips for that too.

Mary Katherine Gallagher - Superstar


My go-to costume ideas are always either referencing pop culture or creating a throwback. Not only do I make myself laugh with them but my friends, family and coworkers usually get a kick out of them too. The biggest word of advice I can give is to have multiple ideas. I usually go in with at least 5 ideas and a small breakdown of what I need for each outfit for it to be successful. The picture above is a costume that I put together two years ago that was a combination of thrifted and already owned pieces and I had an idea of what I was looking for when I went into Goodwill.

Miss. Trunchbull - Matilda


Miss. Trunchbull from the film Matilda was my inspiration last year. In order for this outfit to come together, I was looking for a large brown belt and gray/navy baggy pants when I went into Goodwill. The other two items I would have needed, I already had at home (a plain gray sweatshirt for me to craft the ‘1972 Olympics’ onto, and a pair of chunky work boots). The finished result cost me less than 10$ and was ridiculously easy for me to shop for. I found what I was looking for in only a few minutes.


So this year for Halloween I came up with 4 ideas I would have been happy with and broke down what I would have needed for each. You have to go in with the mindset that not every idea is going to work out, so I usually throw in an idea that I’m guaranteed. For the sake of this post, I was actually able to find TWO of my costumes and I’m excited to share them with you now!

The first being everyone’s favorite diner owner: Luke Danes

Luke Danes - Gilmore Girls


This was my guaranteed easy costume. I only needed two items for this costume to work and I knew Goodwill would have a plethora of options. The first was a plain T-Shirt for me to craft onto. The second was a men’s flannel. I used a pair of jeans that I already owned as well as a baseball cap from my closet. This costume cost me only 5$ for BOTH the flannel and gray T, and about 20 minutes of my time creating and ironing on the logo. I used my circuit machine to create Luke’s coffee cup symbol but you can buy iron-on transfer paper from Walmart for 4$ and you’ll achieve a very similar look.


The second costume I found was everyone’s favorite paper salesman: Dwight Schrute

Dwight Schrute - The Office 


I’m honestly pretty pumped over how this costume turned out and also for only 5$. I went in looking for a yellow men’s short sleeve button up and was pretty shocked when I found one in a size that didn’t look like a garbage bag on me. I also needed a tie, which goodwill has a huge selection of, so I was able to find mine for only a dollar using the colored tag of the day. I really had my fingers crossed I could find a pair of brown business pants in my size but struck out and had to use a pair of my colored jeans. The glasses are actually what gave me the idea for this costume because they are my husband’s old pair that we’ve been hanging onto for years. I knew being a hoarder would pay off one day.


I really hope these tips and costumes inspirations have helped spark an idea for your Halloween costume this year! If you know your costume will be easy to find, be sure to search for the colored tag of the week/day so that you can save even more money, and please share your finished looks on Instagram by tagging @goodwillgoodskills and #GoodwillHaunting  – I’d really love to see what you all come up with!

Fall Harvest Home Decor

I’m so excited to share my Fall thrifted home! Summer has rained itself over in Ohio. The buzz for back to school shopping has passed and our sunsets are ending early.

Bring on the cool air, hot cocoa and s’mores.
Snag the white pumpkins or (white paint to repaint orange pumpkins), mums, sweater blankets and candles.

The first of September, I transition to fall cozy features in the home, so it can last a good three months into November (before it’s time to switch over to Christmas).
I focus on three main areas for this transition...

 Fall 1

1. The front door is your first impression.

I’ve added the Dollar Tree clip on leaves for Autumn to my thrifted eucalyptus wreath. (It can transition to any season!)

Fall 2 

Oversized thrifted reclaimed wood pumpkin for the front porch. With just some accents to your wreath and a little pumpkin on your porch, your front door is speaking fall!

Fall 3

2. The Living room, with emphasis on the fireplace mantel.

This year, I have added soft gold touches, white pumpkins and soft green lambs ears for foliage. 

Fall 4

I found the Smith & Hawken wreath and the Threshold gold flower pot at my local New Philadelphia Goodwill store. The wreath pulls with the gold tones in the stone fireplace, while the gold pots add an elegant shimmer. 

Fall 5

I added some Fall Mums to the Threshold chenille woven basket from Goodwill. 

Fall 6

All mantel decor, coffee table vignette, chandelier and bench are thrifted and repurposed pieces. 

Fall 7

Fall gourd spray painted gold metallic, picture frame as is, Smith & Hawken wreath and a damaged Kirkland’s artwork found at Goodwill that was touched up with paint. 

Fall 8

3. The coffee/hot cocoa station recieve fall vibes too.

This is my favorite area to dress up for the kids. All decor items at the top and magnolia wreath are thrifted naturistic items.

Fall 9 Fall 10

Did you know Goodwill also sells UTZ and Lays snacks for easy holiday party planning? 

Fall 11

Lastly, think outside the box for your themes. Spray paint will forever be your #1 secret.

Fall 12


For more home decor inspiration follow along on Instagram and Facebook: Interieurs by Cheri 

Halloween Costumes to Get You Inspired

The fall season is the best time of the year.  The leaves are changing, everything is pumpkin flavored, and one of the best holidays, Halloween, is right around the corner!  If you’re like us, you’re already thinking about what crazy character you can dress up as this year.  Here are a few pointers to keep in mind as you put those awesome costumes together.

The best costumes don’t necessarily have to have the most pieces.  A few items can lead to the costume of the year! 


For instance, if you want to travel back in time to Woodstock, a vintage dress paired with a fringed vest will get you close.  Add a pair of shades and a floral headband and you’ll be throwing up the peace sign as this year’s best hippie. 

Pin Hippie



Perhaps you’d rather sail the seas as a pirate.  No need to run to the big box costume store.  A pirate’s cap with an eye patch and sword along with a striped shirt and boots will have you ready to walk the plank.  No matter what you desire to be Goodwill has the necessary items to have you play the part.

 Pin Pirate


During the Halloween season, creativity is key!  As you walk through the aisles of your local Goodwill keep an open mind about what you might be able to create.  Where some see just a formal dress, others see a beautiful princess. Add a pair of high heels and tiara and you’ll be looking just like your favorite Disney princess for a fraction of the cost. 

Pin Princess


Speaking of cost, shopping for a Halloween costume at Goodwill will get you looking the part for much less. Typically Goodwill prices are 50-90% less than your traditional retailers. Saving money on your costume will help buy more treats for the big day! 


Another costume option that is very cost effective would be a pair of glasses, a bow tie, plaid pants, and a pocket protector.  These few items from Goodwill would form a perfect nerd costume.  The amount of savings would leave the biggest number crunchers impressed.



Perhaps, you have a costume you’ve worn a few too many times and are looking to make a change this year.  There’s a reason you rocked it more than once!  Don’t just throw it away.  Consider donating the costume to your local Goodwill so someone else will have the chance to look as good.  By donating an old costume, you allow us to use our Halloween magic and bring it back to life.


Regardless if you are purchasing items for that perfect costume or donating old costumes, you are making a difference in your community.  By purchasing or donating items you’re helping improve the lives of people with barriers to employment. People served by Goodwill are provided the skill-building programs and services needed to find and maintain employment.  If you would like to learn more about mission services offered in your community, visit our mission services page.


Lastly, Halloween should be a fun time for everyone in the family, including our furry friends.  Be sure to check out our ready-to-go costumes for them, too. Because, if we’re honest with ourselves, who doesn’t want to see a dog dressed up as a bee?

Pet Costume

We, at Goodwill, wish you a fun and safe Halloween and look forward to seeing your good finds turn into great costumes! Share them with us by tagging us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and hashtagging #GoodwillHaunting. 

Golf for Good

On Friday, September 20, 2019, community and business leaders will gather for an exciting day of golf to raise funds for the programs and services provided by Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio. This inaugural event, Golf for Good, will be held at The Quarry Golf Club in Canton.

Ball Blur Close Up 1325751

Support of Golf for Good helps thousands of individuals and families in our community. Proceeds from this event will support Goodwill’s crisis voucher program which provides much needed clothing and household goods to people who are homeless or facing an emergency situation. Last year, more than 3,200 people were helped through this valuable service.

Car Golf Cart Macro 1325705

Registration is available for individuals and foursomes and include a round of golf, lunch, dinner, door prizes, contests and raffles. To register click here. Sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting Nicole Curet, Manager of Fund Development and Community Relations at ncuret@goodwillgoodskills.org or by phone at 330-617-4734.


Back to School Challenge - Boys Edition

As any mom with four kids can tell you, back to school shopping can be TOUGH! Combine all the new clothes needed with the school supply essentials and it can get pretty expensive. So as any thrifty mom would do, I am always looking for a deal! That is my FAVORITE thing about my local Goodwill. I always leave with at least one bag (normally several 😉) of great items at a fraction of what they would have cost me in a different store. And this trip was no different.

Pic 1 

Three of my kids are boys and they all have their own unique approach to fashion.  Shopping with them can be fun and interesting for sure, but they also get bored easily! One thing they all love is games, so we created a shopping challenge for our trip to Goodwill’s North Canton location. Since it was a Sunday, items with green tags, the color of the week, were only $1. The challenge was to see how many items they could find, that they would ACTUALLY wear, that fit them, that had a green tag. My goal was to find a couple pieces for each kid and not leave with an empty wallet!

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Here’s a breakdown of each kid and how they fared in the challenge:

Jack is an athlete and loves video games. He also tends to be more comfortable in a hoodie and jeans than anything dressy. For him, we always look for loose, comfy fabrics and specifically items that can be worn in all types of weather. His favorite article of clothes is a long sleeve shirt with a hood that he wears all the time, so I was super excited to find something similar AND with a green tag! He loved the design and the softness of the shirt. He also picked up a simple pair of black athletic shorts that I have no doubt will be worn by the end of the day!

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Dominic is 7 and a soon-to-be 3rd grader. He is always on the move so having clothes that are durable but also cute is super important. He likes bright colors and tends to gravitate towards t-shirts and soft fabrics. He found what he describes as his “Most AWESOME 1st day of school outfit”! He paired up a super soft gray polo with a bright pair of (new with tags!!) shorts. Both items fit the challenge and he even found a nice, colorful button down shirt for picture day.

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Alex is heading to middle school this year and wanted to update his wardrobe in very specific ways. He loves a good collared shirt and if the shorts match that’s even better. I should also mention that he has grown 6 inches (!) since school got out in May. Literally none of his clothes fit! Finding clothes for him wasn’t just important but also a necessity. He really was the big winner this trip. He found 5 items and all of them had a green tag! He walked away with a striped long sleeve hoodie, a Hollister t-shirt, an orange button down shirt, a pair of athletic shorts and brand new khaki cargo shorts.

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The best part of this trip for me was dropping off the bags of clothes that they have grown out of to make room for their new finds! Cleaning out their closets happens a couple times a year since they have been growing so fast and we love that our donations can help others in our community. Plus it leaves room for more Goodwill finds in the future!

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All in all this trip made everyone happy but especially the fact that we got all of this for only $10! (Tax-free weekend y’all!!) This mama’s thrifty heart is happy 😊

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