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Turn Trash to Treasure for 'Tino

Goodwill and Cupertino High School partner to collect donations to help pay for "Tino's grad night.

Now would be a good time to start cleaning closets and garages to help bloat a 28-foot Goodwill trailer on Feb. 10 to help ‘Tino High’s grads have a special night come June.

Cupertino High School is teaming up with Goodwill to collect a variety of family discards such as clothes, books, e-waste and other household items. If they collect enough to fill the trailer Goodwill will give the school’s Grad Night committee $1,500 to put toward the school’s grad night.

“I’d love to fill up two or three trailers,” said Dave Ostendorf of Goodwill.

It’s a fairly new program for Goodwill that started in April. Goodwill brings a trailer to a site, Ostendorf provides tips on how to promote the fundraiser and arranges for Goodwill trailer attendants to help determine what items can be accepted, and volunteers help collect donations and fill the trailer. The amount of money Goodwill gives in exchange for the goods is based on weight, which he says typically is about $1,500.

This is the first such fundraiser held in Cupertino, Ostendorf said.

Volunteers will be onsite at Cupertino High School from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 10 to collect the items.

The program works well for any tax-exempt group. Goodwill has held them for preschools, churches, baseball and football teams, and the American Legion, Ostendorf said.

The American Legion trailer was heavier than normal so they got more in return.

Goodwill then takes the donated items and sells them in their stores. The money Goodwill makes from the sales goes straight back into programs that benefit homeless, low-income, and anybody who needs a hand. People such as Ostendorf, who once was homeless.

“I went from a tent on the street to a convertible,” he said. “I guess you could say I went from one canvas to another.”

He is living proof of how successful the Goodwill programs can be in getting people off the street, helping them find jobs and homes.

“To me, I know it works,” Ostendorf said.

Goodwill helps with creating a resume, training and job placement, but to Ostendorf it’s more than that.

“Most of it I feel is a morale thing,” he said. “They put me in a path to want to stay and do good instead of me just getting frustrated.”

Cupertino High School is located at 10100 Finch Ave. Items that will be accepted on Feb. 10 include clothes, books, shoes, household items, home electronics under 50 pounds, toys and e-waste.

Correction: The CHS school group that will receive the money from Goodwill was incorrectly identified in the original publication of this article. The money will support the school's Grad Night.

Frank Geefay January 29, 2013 at 06:34 PM
This is a great idea for raising money for worthy causes as well as help Goodwill and and at the same time getting rid of some of your junk that may be someone else treasure. Thanks Goodwill for being so creative and civic minded. We need more innovative win-win partnerships like this.

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