For a lot of people, it's become a year-end rite of passage: the mad dash to make charitable donations, and get the tax deduction that comes with them. That makes New Year's Eve the busiest day of the year for Goodwill and other nonprofits.
At the Goodwill store in Ballard, that means extra staffers on-hand to process donations. They say the rush started the weekend after Christmas and hasn't slowed down.
"We've seen bowling bowls, furniture, exercising equipment, you name it," said Thomas Brown. "Monday, I was supposed to be scheduled from 10:30 a.m. to seven p.m. and I ended up staying until two in the morning, just like a huge mountain full of donations."
Not that the folks at Goodwill are complaining.
They say the end-of-year donations help fund the organization's job training mission and the work they do all year long.
Surprisingly, they also say the donations don't stop once the calendar flips to 2014. January first is equally busy.
The president and CEO of Seattle Goodwill says that's because many families are trying to get rid of older items, that might've been replaced by newer Christmas presents. He says the start of a new year is a natural time for people to reduce clutter or get rid of items that haven't been used in recent months.
"Maybe one of the family members says hey, how about get get rid of these things, so they do some house cleaning and donate to Goodwill," said CEO Ken Colling.
The Ballard Goodwill store plans to open at 10 a.m. on New Year's Day. While that will be a little late to get the receipt needed for a 2013 tax deduction, staffers say it's never too early to start planning for 2014.