Donation Dash: People Rush to Drop Off Last-Minute Items

By Jill Kasparie, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The holiday shopping season might be over, but some charities in Eastern Iowa are getting a late rush.

The end of the year, just before the calendar switches to 2014, is the busiest time for many thrift stores.

One after another, donors pulled up at Goodwill on Blairs Ferry Road in Cedar Rapids on Monday.

"It's a crazy time, but it's crazy good because a lot of people think of us when they are thinking of their year-end donations to get that tax deduction," said Goodwill's Brent Watkins.

Workers unloaded bags and bags of items.

"It's mostly clothing, but a few kids' things, puzzles and things like that," said Ken Nathan.

Many, who were donating, like Nathan, didn't let the snow slow them down.

"[I] came out anyway," Nathan said.

People dropped off items from pots and pans to Christmas decorations.

"The IRS says that you can get a tax deduction for charitable giving and of course the things people bring to us do qualify as a donation to charity," Watkins said.

Workers here estimate, by the end of the day, about 600 people will have donated items. Take that number times two, and that's what it will be like on New Year's Eve.

"We are fully staffed to obviously deal with the rush of donations that are happening today (Monday) and especially on New Year's Eve, it gets really busy," Watkins said.

Whether people are donating just to get rid of things or to get that much-desired tax deduction, Goodwill said it'll gladly handle the end of the year donation dash.

Many charities are looking forward to seeing the end of the year donations.

The Cedar Rapids Salvation Army is still hoping to reach its goal of $750,000. Currently the organization is sitting at just more than $625,000.

Their offices will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday. They said, however, donations sent in the mail and postmarked by Dec. 31 will meet the 2013 tax deadline.
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