Albany - It's the busiest time of year for charities as people drop off last minute donations trying to beat the deadline for taxes. At Goodwill in Albany, they welcome the influx of donations, but they hope you'll continue to contribute all year long.
After getting a whole house full of Christmas gifts, donors are pouring into Goodwill with cars full of donations. Donn Githens says, "We have a lot of people who take this time, last week of the year, to clean out their house and we've been very fortunate they pick us to drop their donations off to."
This is the busiest week of the year for workers at Goodwill in Albany. "It's been very busy," says Githens. "We've been very lucky to have the amount of donations we do have coming in." Everything from books to bats. If you don't want it, someone else may.
Morris Elliard says his drop offs have become a custom. "It's one of the traditions that I always observe during the Christmas holidays."
He says he likes the feeling of giving to others. "You cannot give without getting something in return," says Elliard. And that's true in a couple of ways; that good feeling and the feel of cold hard cash, from tax returns.
Elliard says, "Again, you cannot give without getting something in return. That's not my primary motive but it does help."
But know this: If you want the benefit of a tax write off, you must donate during store hours in order to get a receipt. Githens says, "We just provide the donor with a receipt. It's painless, it's simple and then they go and access a fair market value to the items."
Fair doesn't mean what you paid for it, rather, it's what it would sell for if sold today, like at the Goodwill store. In order to get credit on your taxes for this year, you'll have to donate before January 1st, but if you can't make it, drop by in the new year.
Githens says, "We do see a large drop off in the number of donation in January, February and March and we do give receipts all year long."
So you can give anytime, and even get something back in return. The Goodwill center in Valdosta is in desperate need of donations. If you can't make it to the store during business hours, there are drop off donation sites. In the Albany area, you can drop off at Walmart on Ledo Road, in front of the Winn-Dixie in Lee County or at Lowe's. Both Lowe's and the Winn-Dixie locations have attendants who can issue you a receipt.