A human skull. A necklace with human teeth in it. A live grenade. Cremated ashes. Those are just some of the weird items on display behind the scenes at the Goodwill processing center in Fort Worth.
"Goodwill gets all kinds of donations," says David Cox, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth. "We get the good, the bad, and the ugly."
But while the weird items get headlines, it's the more conventional stuff that allows Goodwill to spread good will.
In 2017, the Fort Worth locations alone brought in 608,456 donations totaling 40,766,552 pounds, which was turned around and sold for about $40 million. That includes money from 23 retail stores and its online store, which it uses to sell some higher-value items that draw a broader interest such as brand-name items, jewelry, collectibles, and computers--which are all verified and refurbished.
The bulk of the money raised stays in the community, funding Goodwill's 22 programs that range from helping the homeless, disabled, and veterans get job training to helping high school dropouts earn GEDs and move on to colleges.
And the things that don't sell off the shelves and racks? They get bundled and sold to scrap companies or are recycled. Since 2011 Goodwill Fort Worth has kept more than 165 million pounds of material out of landfills.
For more information, visit goodwillfortworth.org.