Southwest Fla. — As the summer winds down and back to school shopping looms right around the corner, many parents are already thinking about how to save money on those end of summer purchases to get children ready for school. Whatever your back-to-school needs, Goodwill Manasota has you covered. With a vast supply of gently used clothing, housewares and other items, Goodwill stores are the one-stop shopping spot for preschool, K-12 and college students.
“We know families are on a tight budget this coming school year and that every dollar counts,” said Bob Rosinsky, president & CEO of Goodwill Manasota. “That’s why we’ve stocked our stores with a large variety of new and gently used items to fill up that backpack or dorm room for back to school,” he said.
Top fashion designers are pulling inspiration from a wide range of decades this fall, including the grungy 90s and the psychedelic 70s. Here are some of the hottest back-to-school trends that, with a little bit of vision and creativity, can be easily emulated with secondhand clothing found at our stores:
- Lace: Lace dresses, tops and even bottoms are a hot item now and will continue to be popular going into fall.
- Gothic: After several years of bright, bold colors for fall, fashion designers have retreated back to the basics. Try mixing basics like black jeans and tee shirts with statement pieces like a leather jacket. Check the coats and jackets section of Goodwill for black leather trenches or bomber jackets.
- Graphic Prints: Graphics are back in a big way. Since graphic tees and sweaters have been in and out of fashion frequently in the past fifteen years, scoring one from our stores should be easy. Retailers are selling these hot commodities at a premium with an intrinsic worn-in feel, but Goodwill shoppers know they can get the actual thing for much, much less. Don’t forget: a pair of scissors can take that oversized t-shirt from dull to fabulous when you cut in some fringe, alter the sleeves or open up the neckline.
- Peplum: It seems the designers are always exaggerating something, and this season it’s the hip. Whether achieved with ruffles or boning, the peplum shape is hot now. The dress section would be a good place to start, but this coveted silhouette can also be recreated with a pencil skirt and a long, loose blouse by cinching the waist of the blouse with a belt.
In addition to the clothing, supplies, electronics, musical instruments, sporting equipment and other items you might normally think about for back-to-school shopping, other items can meet your needs with a little creativity:
• Men’s dress shirts can be turned around and used as paint smocks for a preschooler’s classroom
• Plastic crates and baskets can be used as storage bins for school supplies
• Find a cool lamp for a college dorm room
• Guitars, horns or metronomes for the budding music student
• Calculators for the math student
• Sheets, blankets and towels for the college student
• Bicycles and helmets for riding to and from school
• Thermal and plastic drink bottles for students who bring their lunch from home
• Globes and maps
• Alarm clocks so that a student is not late for school
The best part about back to school shopping at Goodwill is that you are not only getting what you need for less, but you are also helping others. When we sell donated items, that revenue funds job training programs and community-based services for people with disabilities,who lack education or work experience, and others facing challenges to finding employment.
“It may not be foremost in your mind, but you’re helping the people in your community when you shop at Goodwill,” said Rosinsky. “Our Job Connection Centers have helped close to 12,000 people in the four counties we serve.”
That wouldn’t have been possible without the revenue generated from the sales of donated items. To find the Goodwill store nearest you, please visit our website at www.experiencegoodwill.org.
About Goodwill Manasota:
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, not-for-profit business that turns donations into good jobs, good homes and good neighborhoods. We accomplish our mission through a network of Good Neighbor Centers in Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties and our Mission Development Services (MDS) around North America. For more than 100 years, Goodwill has provided opportunities through programs such as Donated Goods Employment Services, Job Connection, JobsPlus, Supported JobsPlus, HomeBuyer’s Club, Mission Development Services, White Glove Services, Good Neighbor Program and Ambassadors Program. Goodwill continues to assist people with disabilities and barriers to opportunity by providing good jobs, good homes and good neighborhoods. Tax-deductible donations to Goodwill Foundation can be made at www.ExperienceGoodwill.org.