Working Capital - Mission Blog

<<Mission Blog Home Posted: 10-30-2014

The Halloween season. A time of the weird and the strange. The mysterious and the macabre. We thought we would take time out this year to spotlight some of the strangest donations to Goodwill we have received. Sort of a ghosts of Halloweens past.

Undoubtedly, you have seen the reports of human skulls, skeletons, teeth, etc.  We’ll stay away from the grisly and focus on the, well, different.

We’ll begin with our Goodwill in Austin, Texas. While we are always thankful for the donations we receive – as they fund our mission of workforce development – we’re not quite sure why this item even exists.


The tricky part is getting them to sit still long enough so we can put them on.

Then, there was our Goodwill in western Missouri & Eastern Kansas. They detailed strange donations like elephant tusks and human ashes. But this one caught our eye.

donated knight armor

This would guarantee a first prize in any costume contest.

One of the thrills of shopping at your Goodwill store is that you’ll not only find items you want but oftentimes items you never knew you needed. Like this one donated in Connecticut:

banana slicer

Because the precision slicing of a banana is an important part of any culinary experience.

Sometimes, the donations bend towards the dangerous. Several Goodwill centers have received hand grenades – one of them fully operational! The Goodwill in Augusta, Georgia received quite the cache of ammunition.


For the record, we do not suggest you donate items like these to your local Goodwill. If you must dispose of them perhaps you should contact your local police department.

Our Goodwill friends in Akron, Ohio had a couple of strange ones. Like a shark in a bottle?

shark in bottle

And, a perfect accessory for Halloween…..

skull pipe

On a similar but potentially illegal note, here’s a unique donation to a Goodwill in Houston, TX.  We’re pretty sure this never made it to the retail sales floor.  If you don’t know what this is…good for you!


Closer to home, this was discovered in our Alexandria store.

bacon tuxedo

So far, no one has donated the actual tuxedo but we remain hopeful.

The Goodwill in West Texas was given this rather odd sculpture.

dog sculpture

We’re not sure what it is or why it was made but there it is.

And while we’re on that theme, the Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina had this on display.

Mt Airy Goodwill

No home is complete without whatever this is.

And, finally, a nice couple made this donation to the Zanesville, Ohio Goodwill.


Perfect for a three hour tour.


While we had some fun spotlighting some of the rarer donations various Goodwill donation centers have received, the lion’s share of what is donated is repurposed or recycled back into the community. And, the proceeds from those sales fuel our workforce development.

Though it may seem like Goodwill will accept any donation, we do have a few guidelines which you can read here.

And don’t forget…for every “odd” donation, Goodwill receives thousands of great ones!

Happy Halloween!

Working Capital, Goodwill mission blog author
This article was written by: Steve Allan

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Goodwill of Greater Washington stores and donation centers transform lives and communities by supporting our free career and employment services for people with disabilities and disadvantages.

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