Monthly Archives: July 2020

Retail vs. Thrift

Prices matter. There is no getting around this fact as a parent, especially when it comes to back to school shopping.

My mom mission this season was to prove to my little ones that both great prices and great styles can be found at Goodwill.

If you are reading this blog, you are probably already a Goodwill believer and have a few great Goodwill finds that you could also share in this post.

However, thrifters know that there are plenty people out there who need convinced of the thrift lifestyle. The savings we discovered during our back to school haul were so great, they might just be enough to convince those non-believers. Here’s my challenge to you: copy, forward or show this blog to those people!

As an avid thrift shopper, I’ve found it best to always hunt for good quality brands. That lesson was learned the hard way time after time when we purchased brand new clothes from discount, ‘fast fashion’ retailers only to find the clothes fall apart or didn’t last through a season

Ralph Lauren is a brand I seek out in men’s, women’s and children’s at Goodwill. The well-known American designer creates classic pieces that can stand up to the toughest children. Even if a piece is several years old, the classic style of Ralph Lauren means that you can probably still buy the same piece at a large retailer today. The difference between that retailer and Goodwill is THE SAVINGS!!


My soon to be kindergartener is all girl.  She loves dresses and everything pink. At Goodwill, this Ralph Lauren classic polo dress was 85% less than its current selling price. I guarantee she will wear this piece again and again, and when we are ready to donate it back to Goodwill, it will be in just as good a shape as when we purchased it.

Gianni Binni or G, is sold at higher end department stores. I visit our local department store often to see the absolutely adorable outfits put out by this manufacturer each season. I leave the store empty handed most times because the price oftentimes scares me away.


I had spotted this gray cold-shoulder sweater last year at the department store. The embroidered SATURDAY with fringe was just too cute, but just too expensive at $39. I scored this new with tags attached for less than $5 during our recent Goodwill haul. Admittedly, this is last year’s line from Gianni Binni, but it’s still in demand. I discovered the same shirt, new with tags, at an online thrift site selling for $15. Either way, I saved money with this Goodwill find!

Justice is hugely popular store for pre-teen girls. My middle daughter will wear anything as long as it’s from Justice. That’s no problem at all with me since we spotted dozens of Justice brand items during our recent visit to Goodwill. We purchased Justice leggings, tops, jeans and even this brand new velour hoodie


The same hoodie is available online for $29.95. Goodwill price? $4.29. That’s 85% off!


Abercrombie and Fitch children’s hoodies range from $19-46 at the popular mall store. This entire outfit, which included a pair of metallic polka dot leggings, totaled less than $10 at Goodwill.


Two super soft henley-style shirts (one from Justice, the other by Mudd) were only $3.49 each and will match perfectly with the jeans we bought for less than $5!


Cooler weather is just around the corner and the adorable owl sweater from Justice was a steal at less than $6 at Goodwill. Even better, it was then 50% off because it was the Color of the Week! With the jeans, this entire outfit was less than $8.00.

Although we had 5-6 more pieces that I didn’t share in this post, I did want to leave with what I considered our best find of the season. Sperry Top Sider shoes have been a staple of boaters for decades, but only recently found new popularity with a younger audience. I admit that earlier this year, I shoveled out far too much money to purchase the latest and greatest Sperry’s for one of my daughters. Little did I think to look at Goodwill for these beauties!


Brand new and in the right size, these beautiful, sparkly, navy-blue Sperrys were just over $8 at Goodwill. An absolute steal when I see the same pair selling for nearly $60 at department stores!

Goodwill oftentimes mentions that their prices are 50-90% less than large retail stores. Based on this amazing back to school haul, I would average my savings closer to 80% which equates to hundreds of dollars saved for our family!

Mission Services Endure During COVID-19

In 1918, Woodrow Wilson was President of the United States. Tris Speaker was roaming the outfield for the Cleveland Indians, beginning the build toward their first World Series Championship two years later. The National Football League was still two years away from being formed. And the Canton Bulldogs paused for a season, after back-to-back Ohio League Championships, due to the United States fighting and ultimately ending World War I that same year.

As we are also keenly aware, 1918 was also the year that our country dealt with the Spanish Flu pandemic that gripped the nation. During that time of difficulty and hardship, a Methodist minister named Frank Baker founded what is now known as Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio. Building on the foundation of J. Edgar Helms’ Goodwill movement that began in Boston, this organization was formed to serve those in need of a “hand up” in the Greater Cleveland area.

For the last 102 years, Goodwill of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio has built upon this legacy of service, accepting clothing and household goods from our generous donors. Then turning those donations into programs that support our mission of empowering people to reach independence, strengthening families, and providing the “hand up” people need. These are the principles upon which our organization was founded. That mission continues today.

Since our founding, Goodwill has faced many challenges—all organizations do—but the challenges presented by COVID-19, the most recent pandemic to face our world, had an immense impact on Goodwill’s daily operations. Goodwill, like many businesses and retail operations, was forced to close our doors to our donors and shoppers on March 20 to slow the spread of COVID-19 and be a part of the solution to protect our fellow community members. Our stores would remain closed for nearly two months; however, during this time, Goodwill moved forward with ensuring that our essential mission services could continue in a safe and responsible manner.

Our community employment programs continued, helping those who were laid off due to business closures across the state, or helping individuals who were employed at essential businesses, like grocery stores or healthcare facilities, ensure that they could safely maintain their employment. Our team deployed remote technology and video conferencing to continue providing “face-to-face” services, even when an individual could not be physically present. Through our partnership as a provider for Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, our team contacted every individual we served through OOD’s vocational programs during the previous year to check-in and determine what assistance they may need. Our Young Adult Programs, funded through the Stark and Tuscarawas County Workforce Development Board continued providing life skills, employment skills, and paid work experience for the youth we serve.  Our Dream to Achieve program, a program that has been supported by the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton, continued to serve individuals in our community with the wraparound supports needed to be successful in finding employment.

In addition to our employment programs, Goodwill’s Parenting Skills Program, serving individuals who may have had their children removed from their home or who are at-risk of having their children removed from the home, continued to serve and equip families. Our parenting staff team continued to provide “in-person” services in a safe, responsible, socially-distanced environment to ensure that the parents we serve received every opportunity possible to learn valuable parenting skills needed to reunite their families. Our home-based team used a mix of remote technology and in-person meetings and allowed parents to apply those skills in their homes, during a difficult time for parents and children alike.

COMPASS, Goodwill’s affiliate agency, serves survivors of sexual assault by providing counseling, case management, advocacy, and prevention services aimed at helping individuals recover from the traumatic experience of sexual assault. During the season of stay-at-home orders, COMPASS saw a marked increase of individuals in need of services. Additionally, COMPASS worked to adapt hospital advocacy services and school prevention services to include remote options due to restricted access at hospitals and school closures.

Finally, the Ken Weber Community Campus in Canton, home to Goodwill and 20 other non-profit organizations, remained open to serve individuals who needed assistance with basic needs and access to essential services. Our campus team worked with our partner organizations like the Stark County Hunger Task Force, to establish a drive-thru food delivery in order to ensure access to food for those in need, and Beacon Charitable Pharmacy, to ensure access to critical prescription medications for the uninsured and underinsured in our community.

Our mission has endured for over 100 years and through two global pandemics thanks to the dedication of our staff and Board of Directors.

Our mission has endured thanks to the support of local community foundations and funders.

Our mission has endured thanks to those who donate and shop in our stores.

Our mission endures.


Mark Trew
Vice President of Mission Services

Goodwill Mission with Sarah

Sc Professional Photo 1Sarah Carson, CCMEP Massillon Case Manager

Hello, My name is Sarah Carson and I am the case manager for The Massillon Comprehensive Case Management Employment Program (CCMEP). I am excited to share with you about CCMEP, and how CCMEP Massillon has been affected throughout the previous months due to the impact of COVID-19. CCMEP is a partnership program between Goodwill and Ohio Means Jobs, with funding from the Workforce Initiative Association. The goal of CCMEP is to help individuals between 16 and 24 years old obtain a job and maintain a job. This is a long-term employment program that combines intensive case management and job coaching to reduce life barriers and gain employment skills. Although the program looks slightly different for everyone, most participants are actively involved through work experience in the Goodwill Stores and class time. Participants rely on CCMEP Massillon provide them with a mentor/advocate, to show them how to maintain a job and achieve personal independence. The impact of CCMEP Massillon is truly life changing.

COVID-19 began with many challenges to our program. I asked myself as the case manager, “am I able to help these participants in the ways that they need under the circumstances of COVID?” I quickly realized quickly that I did not have a choice. These participants rely on CCMEP for assistance with not only employment but any areas of life that are creating barriers for them. CCMEP provides motivation for individuals to seek addiction treatment, enroll in GED classes, study for their temporary license, find stable housing, seek mental health treatment, file their taxes, and overall to learn what it means to be independent. Participants completed their class and work hours at home through packet work which educated them on various employment related areas and financial literacy. The participants and I found creative ways to touch base and have intentional conversations regarding their lives and their employment goals. We made the most of the time we spent completing programming from home. Once the stores opened again, participants were eager to return to work. We had spent so much time just talking about building skills and how to support their goals that they were all excited to return and implement our discussions.

One participant that I would like to highlight had never really had a job prior to CCMEP. She struggled greatly with transportation and knowing how to properly balance work and life.  Once the store opened again, the participant began working just a few hours in the store with me present as a job coach. Weeks later, this participant was working without constant job coaching 20 hours at the Goodwill Store, traveling to and from work independently, and is thriving! She utilized her time during the COVID-19 shut down to think about her goals and found motivation to push herself outside her comfort zone.

CCMEP Massillon as a whole has doubled the number of participants since COVID-19. The world is facing challenges that no one could have predicted. The growth in participants speaks volumes of the magnitude and importance of building job skills. Goodwill shoppers and donors help provide our participants experience with customer service, organization and so many more skills. Their employment journey is just beginning with the CCMEP program and their destination of employment will lead them down paths of great success. Future engineers, teachers, construction workers, and other careers that provide sustainable wages are getting their start thanks to your support for our mission programs.

How to ShopGoodwill.Com

 Miss the thrill of the thrift? You can hunt for Goodwill finds without leaving your couch or changing out of your PJs on ShopGoodwill.Com

What’s ShopGoodwill.Com? 

Shop Goodwill is an auction-based website featuring merchandise from Goodwills across the United States, including Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio. 

Ranging from antiques to new items, Goodwills select items from donations that have e-commerce potential to post on the website. The online sales support the stores from which the item originated. This is just one more way you can support Goodwill GCECO without having to leave your home! Items can be shipped to your home, or in some cases can be picked up from the local store. 

Shopgoodwill Color With Reg

How Do I Shop?

There are several ways to shop Goodwill online but first, be sure to create an account so you can easily bookmark items.  Here are three of my favorite ways to find what I’m looking for: 

  1. Sort by local store. I like having the option to support my local Goodwill and the flexibility to avoid shipping costs by picking it up. You can easily browse items from Goodwill GCECO’s stores by clicking here If you win an item, you can pick it up Monday-Friday 8am-3pm at 17903 St. Clair Avenue(Employee Parking lot) Cleveland, OH 44110. If you’d rather have the item shipped, shipping costs vary based on item and weight. The bidding process lasts for seven days, during which the bidding and rebidding takes place. Items must be paid for within 10 days of the close of the auction.

  2. Use the search filters:  Searching a huge selection can be overwhelming, that’s why I apply the same approach to online thrifting as I do to in-person thrifting: NARROW IT DOWN! I always make the most out of the search filters. If I know exactly what I'm searching for, say like a Louis Vuitton purse, I’ll start by typing that keyword in the search box at the top. Then I’ll narrow it down by category.  If I have a spending limit, I’ll often narrow it down further by price, and then location to see if Goodwill Cleveland has any results. 

 If I don’t have a specific item in mind, I’ll simply search by category and price. 

  1. Take Advantage of the Header Features: I love browsing the featured items from the top menu bar such as the Hot 50 items and 1 cent shipping. I also like to browse the Buy It Now section for items I can purchase immediately! 

Even if you’re not ready to shop yet, it’s fun to just browse the site to see all of the cool things listed from Goodwills across the country like this signed Andy Warhol print.  If you’re shopping Goodwill GCECO’s listings, you’re in good hands because Goodwill GCECO’s e-commerce placed 19th in the country for sale in June, which means we have some fantastic donors and gems in the area! 

10 things on my watch list right now: 

Women’s Clothing: 

  1. White Dr. Martens boots: I’ve had Dr. Martens on my thrift wish list forever! So excited these are in my size, too.

  1. Kate Spade lime green wristlet: this color is hot this season!

  1. Madewell is one of my favorite brands and these shoes are perfect for summer. Madewell Shoes

  1. Tory Burch Maddie heel:


  1. Pyrex lime green 4pc set: I wasn’t kidding when I said I love lime green this season! 
    Green Bowls

  2. Picasso teapot: 

Just for Fun: 

  1. Polaroid Camera: perfect activity to kill time while we’re stuck at home! 

  1. Vintage dollhouse: I’m always on the hunt for toys for my toddler daughter and this dollhouse is in excellent condition.  
    Barn House

  1. Yellow gameboy: I love finding video games from my childhood, bonus points for the fun yellow color. 

  2. Vintage 1972 Ouiga board: I love collecting old games, and I haven’t seen one of these in a while! 
    Old Game



Dina Younis is a thrift blogger and host of the thrift podcast, Allow Us to Rethriftroduece Ourselves. You can follow her blog at or on Instagram at @dinasdays