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March 11, 2014

NEWS AND TRIBUNE LETTERS — For March 11

Cut out clutter by donating items

Do you know that more than 70 percent of Americans engage in the annual tradition of spring cleaning? Do you know that one of the most common dilemmas for spring cleaners is what to do with all the stuff they no longer need?

At Goodwill of Southern Indiana, we collect used items and utilize the revenues from their sales to provide services to children and adults with disabilities and disadvantages. To get this year’s spring cleaning season off to a fresh start, we are sharing our Seven Days of Spring Cleaning Guide. This makes it easier than ever to clean out your home, donate used items and make a difference here in Southern Indiana.

For each day of the week leading up to the first day of spring — March 20 — commit to cleaning out just one part of your house and finding something you can donate.

• Day 1: Honor of St. Patrick’s Day, before you put on that green sweater, go through your closet and remove any clothing you no longer wear. Donate it to Goodwill. Here’s a good rule: If you haven’t worn it in the last 365 days, you probably won’t wear it again.

• Day 2: As you’re cooking dinner, take 15 minutes to go through your kitchen cabinets and find things you don’t use. Goodwill accepts used kitchenware items and household goods.

• Day 3: Go through your seasonal items and donate what you no longer use. That Halloween costume you haven’t worn since the late 1990s ... it’s time to let it go.

• Day 4: Technology changes fast and many people have electronics, used computers and computer accessories lying around the house. Goodwill accepts all types of electronic devices as donations, and we safely recycle nonworking computers.

• Day 5: If you have a home office, are there office supplies you don’t need? Clear your desk of unneeded backpacks, notebooks or binders. All can be donated to Goodwill.

• Day 6: The seven days are almost done. However, before you congratulate your decluttering efforts, take a minute to investigate the entertainment area in your home. How many DVDs do you own that you’ll never watch again? CDs, DVDs, video games — they’re all donate-able.

• Day 7: Finally, take one last look at your bookshelf. If books are threatening to take over the house, never fear, you can donate them to Goodwill too.

See, that wasn’t so bad. When we take the right approach, spring cleaning can be almost fun. But, more importantly, know that by donating your used items, you’re helping neighbors here in Southern Indiana, achieve independence and success.

— Candice Barksdale, chief executive officer, Goodwill of Southern Indiana

Consider being a hero to Red Cross

I am writing to help remind the community that March is Red Cross month. This month provides an opportunity to recognize those everyday heroes who provide ongoing support to our communities in need whether it is down the street, across the country or around the world.

During Red Cross month, we honor our caring donors, volunteer staff and paid staff who stand shoulder-to-shoulder every day. These are people who give selflessly of their time and talent where there is suffering, inspire hope where there is despair, and support those who suffer the wounds of war and disaster. Our everyday Heroes might:

• Provide disaster victims with food, shelter, clothing and emotional support;

• Give the gift of life-saving blood to a hospital patient;

• Brighten the day of a service member far from home;

• Take one of our classes teaching vital skills like CPR, First Aid, and baby-sitting training; or

• Make a gift that can impact the lives of many.

This winter, the Red Cross responded to an increased number of home fires due to extremely cold temperatures. Within the region — spanning 55 counties in Kentucky and Southern Indiana — the Red Cross responded to more than 100 home fires in the month of January alone.

Red Cross Month also marks the start of our Heroes campaign. Heroes for the American Red Cross is a grassroots fundraising campaign in which local business people, individuals, civic groups, church groups, and schools pledge to give or raise at least $1,000, through any legal means they choose, for the Red Cross. Our Hero Campaign will run through March 31 and has a goal of $65,000. As the chairs of this campaign, we are asking for support because it is essential to providing much needed relief in Southern Indiana.   

If you have any questions about the great work that we do or would like to become a Hero by financially supporting the American Red Cross, contact us or call 812-283-8416. Thanks for keeping Southern Indiana a great place to live and work.

— Debbie Meyer, RPh, and Cheryl Carpenter, attorney at law, co-captains of the 2014 Hero Campaign/Red Cross Board Members, Clark County

 

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