Channel Your Goodwill® Wanderlust

By Julia Marchand

What’s the first thing you do when you visit a new city? For me, after I’ve settled into my hotel and refueled at a café, I have to track down the closest Goodwill® retail store! Since each and every one is stocked with items donated by those who live nearby, individual locations become completely distinct and allow visitors to get a taste for that specific region’s lifestyle. One thing that all branches of Goodwill have in common, though, is their mission to help build healthy communities. Since Goodwill has earned the trust and support of more than 86 million donors in the United States and Canada, there’s a good chance that if you’re traveling in North America you will stumble upon a store or two.

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This summer, loads of families are packing into their cars and making the trek out of state. Technology is an easy answer for keeping kids calm while passing the time, but I’ve always been a fan of family fun and good old-fashioned travel games instead. If you have kids then you know how truly short attention spans can be. For this reason, I highly recommend preparing several in-car activities like these shared by Goodwill Industries of Michiana, Inc. Putting games together yourself will save money and earn you some bragging rights. The tactile exercises will also help kids gain new skills and satisfy sensory instincts when they’re buckled in and unable to exert their plentiful energy!

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Now, if you’re not able to travel at this time, you can still get your fix by inviting the whole planet inside your home (What!? How!?). Globes pop up at Goodwill all the time! I found a fantastic standing globe once at my local store and I’m considering this celestial makeover for it created by a blogger named Kirsten. Her dream décor was well above her budget so she took matters into her own hands. You can find the instructions to make one of these beauties yourself on her blog, Sunnies and Chardonnay.

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Of all the places I’ve visited, London was by far my favorite. I found the city to be clean, fun, and friendly, so this display from Goodwill Industries of Kansas made me want to hop on the next plane across the pond. Allowing your home to capture the spirit of places you’ve loved visiting is the perfect way to create a space that inspires you. Plus, it’s great conversation for when you have guests and it will very likely segue into a viewing of your vacation pictures – a great excuse to relive the memories.

Are you off to anywhere special this summer or will you instead be reliving past trips? If there’s one thing I’ve learned while on my journey through life, it’s that you can recreate almost anything – travel activities, home décor, memories, and more – for less than half the price if you are willing to put some time into it. I’ve also learned that most successful projects start at the thrift store. Hey, where there’s a (Good)will, there’s a way!

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