Gathering with Goodwill

It’s time to put away, better yet, donate, those Halloween costumes and decorations (to Goodwill of course) and transition into the time we gather with family and friends to share what we’re thankful for.

We are kicking the month off with inspiration for setting the Thanksgiving table. There’s a lot to plan and budget for when hosting a family gathering, and shopping at Goodwill for entertaining essentials allows you to be creative and cost-effective. You’re also making sustainable choice by putting existing items to use, rather than buying mass produced products from a big box retailer. The inventory in our stores is evaluated for quality and functionality before being placed on the sales floor, so you know you’re getting great products!

Making a list

It’s always best to be armed with a list when you set out to shop. Stores at this time of year are always packed and it’s easy to get distracted, but consider these questions and you’ll know exactly what you’re looking for.

  • How many guests will you have?
  • Do you want the look to be formal or relaxed?
  • Are you hosting a sit down dinner or a buffet style meal?
  • What is your ideal color scheme?

Once you have those established, make a list and get shopping. Here’s what our list looked like:

  • Sit down dinner for eight.
  • A layered look that is put together but not formal.
  • Fall color palette.

Here’s what we came up with:

a few pointers

Tip number one, go shopping on Blue Friday, which takes place from 9 AM – 9PM on November 17. All Goodwill of Central Iowa stores will be giving away gift cards and have great goodies to share with shoppers so you will not want to miss it. No matter when you decide to set on your table, keep an open mind. You may not find a complete dish set that will work with your specific number of guests, but that’s OK! We found the four floral plates first and then added in the white and brown set.

This mix and match look is on trend and makes your vibe personalized and fun as opposed to the predictable, and a little bit dated, matching set. The same concept applies to glassware and flatware, ours are a mix, but we love the look.

We also grabbed a few small objects as place card holders for our guests. We have a duck lover in our group, so this figurine was perfect for us. You can find these small knick-knacks on the shelves in each Goodwill housewares section.

Finally, flowers and other natural elements are another inexpensive but impactful addition to setting the table.

Goodwill stores also have ample amounts of cookware, baking dishes, serving dishes and more hosting necessities for a fraction of the cost at another retailer, so keep an eye out for those as well.

We hope this has left you inspired for setting your Thanksgiving table. All that’s left is food prep and in-law wrangling – but that we’ll leave for you to figure out. If you’d rather skip this part of process entirely, you can purchase the table setting featured here at our Johnston store for $56 and includes everything in the photos except the flowers and fresh pumpkins.

Now that we’ve set the Thanksgiving mood, this month we’re counting our blessings and sharing our gratitude. We’d like to start by recognizing the generous donors and patrons of the Central Iowa community and the crucial role they play in supporting our mission. For those that don’t know, revenue from our retail stores supports our skills training and job placement programs for individuals with barriers to employment. So when you shop and donate to Goodwill, you’ve become our integral partner in changing the lives of people like Peace and Mason, Central Iowans who have worked hard to gain and sustain employment. For that, we say thank you, your donations and dollars spent add up to so much for so many. We have much to be thankful for and are looking forward to sharing more of that with you.