Gone For Good

Darling Readers: If one of y’all is responsible for donating the human skull to Goodwill last week would you be so kind as to touch base with the Homicide Division at Austin PD?   While they are quite confident that it’s a medical relic and not the remains of your ex-boyfriend who most definitely needed killin’, the Thrifty Snicker is sure everyone would appreciate clearing up this little tempest in a teapot.  http://abcnews.go.com/Weird/wireStory/human-skull-donated-goodwill-store-texas-25158630

And speaking of your ex who is finally gone for good, this blog’s feature is the far happier, thriftier and just all-around making the world a better place kind of initiative – Gone For Good. Now crank up the AC and pour yourself a big glass of sweet tea because you know any story that starts with “Once upon a time there were three crazy retired ladies…” is going to be a good one!

Once upon a time there were indeed three crazy retired ladies named Gail, Retta and Sandy. Gail and Retta had been friends for a while through the Literacy Coalition of Central Texas and Sandy got lassoed in on various fine projects as friends are wont to do. They envisioned the perfect combination of their love for bargains, caring for others, and donating to wonderful causes while hanging out together and just generally having a good, old time. What they’ll do is handle an estate sale, or all the things you’ve left behind in your old place after you’ve moved, or even just a few items you’d like to unload so long as they have value, and they’ll sell them for you, which, while nice enough, is only the first link in a long chain of helping you and helping others.

Say Cousin Brunhilde passes on to her great reward and leaves YOU stuck with all her worldly possessions including her prized collection of nail clippers from all fifty states. You donate whatever contents of the house you want to Gone For Good, a bona fide non-profit operating under the Austin Community Foundation, and right there you get your charitable tax deduction and if you choose, they’ll even sell the stuff right out of the house so you don’t have to. But just like those infomercials on late night TV, that’s not all! After everything’s sold (and anything not sold those three ladies will whisk far, far away) there’s a 60 / 40 division of the proceeds and YOU get to choose the charity that receives that 60% check along with all the accolades that such a nice (but painless) donation brings with it!

The remaining 40% goes into the Gone For Good coffers and pays for such things as their website, www.goneforgood.net, advertising, truck rental when they have to pick up big stuff and a few other tedious but necessary expenses but not a penny in salary! Profits from their 40% share also go to charity. Every year Gone For Good invites local charities with an operating budget of less than $100,000 to submit a proposal for a grant of between $2,000 and $2,500. Earlier this year four Austin charities received Gone For Good grants of $2,500 each!

Now Gone For Good doesn’t just limit itself to entire estates; they’re happy to pick up estate sale leftovers, furniture donations (note: THEY will pick up!!) or even accept an item or two so long as those items have resale value. If it’s not sold directly out of the donor’s home or at another estate sale it might go on Craigslist or eBay. Your bargain blogger hopes she was exaggerating a tiny bit when Gail said they’ll meet a stranger in a dark alley if it means they’ll get a sale! Vintage items may well end up in the Gone For Good booth at Antique Marketplace (another wonderful Burnet destination, which The Snicker will blog about one day). In the unlikely event that your donated treasure doesn’t sell after a reasonable period of time, your item will be donated to Goodwill or Settlement Home for Children – either way, unwanted items (ex-boyfriends are NOT accepted) are out of your home, your hair and on their way to doing good!

Of course there are a zillion ways that you can be part of the fun. Hop on their mailing list and follow them on FB to get first dibs. Shop at one of their sales or at their booth. Donate something or, if you can’t do that, volunteer – especially if you have some expertise in evaluation. One sculpture donation from a well-known Austin family started out with a $60 price tag until an eagle-eyed volunteer found an artist signature, did some research, and discovered it was worth more like $7,000! Spread the word about the service aspect – how lovely would it be to move out of a former home and just leave behind the items you don’t want to move knowing they’ll be lovingly and professionally taken care of. Encourage your favorite small non-profit to submit a grant application. Maybe you can talk Gail, Retta and Sandy into franchising their amazing and philanthropic idea – every community should have a Gone For Good whose motto is Selling Worldy Treasures to do a World of Good!

As much as it pains the Discount Diva to admit it, she doesn’t know everything thrift. What are your favorite places and best bargains?  

Until the next find!

The Thrifty Snicker



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