At Goodwill San Diego, Halloween is the busiest time of the year.

by Darlene Cossio on OCT. 29, 2021 

Cossio is marketing director at Goodwill San Diego. She lives in Alpine.

At Goodwill San Diego, Halloween is the busiest time of the year. We have 30 locations that feature a dedicated Halloween section. Shoppers will find pre-packaged costumes in various sizes as well as new wigs, masks and accessories. If you’re still looking for a costume, you’ll find something here.

Many do-it-yourselfers come to Goodwill for unique costumes made from regular clothing. Some of the most popular costumes we see customers create are cowboy outfits (from overalls, flannel shirts, cowboy boots, jeans, Western tops and authentic cowboy hats), fortune-teller costumes (from floral tops and full skirts, with scarves to be worn as a sash around the waist, and chunky jewelry), fairy costumes (from a sequin dress or a tulle skirt, glittery shoes and magical wings) and classic ghost costumes (from a simple sheet purchase from our linen section or from a white dress, white top and pants).

A fun bank robber costume is perfect for a couple or a group. We have a great selection of black pants and skirts which can be easily paired with a striped top, black booties or tennis shoes, a black beanie, and a burglar or bandit mask. Another great costume for a couple or group is anything steampunk. We have hats, goggles, timepieces, and brooches which can be put on a tailored jacket, tall boots and leather belts. To get the most realistic steampunk look, remember to layer and then layer some more! You really can’t have too many layers. We have so many great pieces to create costumes for couples or groups like the Pink Ladies and T-Birds from “Grease.”

Our teen shoppers will find it very easy to put together an Olivia Rodrigo costume by buying an old prom dress, a plaid dress, cropped t-shirts, and, if you’re lucky, you might find a beret. Customers looking to be characters from “Bridgerton,” the “Gossip Girl” reboot or “Squid Game” this Halloween will definitely score at Goodwill.

If a scary costume is your thing, what about Georgie from “It”? All you will need is a yellow hooded raincoat, a pair of rain boots, black pants, a little red dye and the infamous red balloon.

Our community has been supporting our mission of providing employment and training opportunities to people with disabilities and other barriers to employment since 1930. Goodwill is known to many as a convenient place to drop off donations of sellable clothing and household goods including furniture. Other community members know Goodwill as a place to shop for affordable clothing, costumes, gifts, home decor and more. What few know is that Goodwill is a social enterprise that accepts donations and turns them into revenue to fund free employment programs and services at its five Community Employment Centers throughout San Diego County (in San Diego’s Midway and San Ysidro neighborhoods, Chula Vista, Escondido and Oceanside).

Goodwill career advisers at the centers provide free career assessment, job search assistance, resume development, job application assistance, interview preparation and soft skill workshops on issues involving workplace communication and conflict resolution. Many job seekers enroll in our job readiness certification program to demonstrate to potential employers their commitment to secure employment. Today, we are helping employers recruit employees because all industries have been experiencing a workforce shortage related to the pandemic shutdown. Goodwill has had to respond to our ambassador (employee) shortage by closing our Donation Centers on Tuesdays and Wednesdays until the end of the year. Our fitting rooms have also been closed to manage our resources and still provide exceptional customer service to our donors and shoppers.

The best part about shopping at Goodwill is that you can feel good knowing you are providing paid job training for people with disabilities and other significant barriers to employment. Your purchase is helping a job seeker find their way to a great career. We currently employ more than 1,000 people in San Diego County and 51 percent of our ambassadors are people with a disability or other barrier to employment. The other part of our 501(c) nonprofit is the amount of landfill diversion we create. Last year alone, we recycled 13,518,063 pounds of donated items and we served more than 7,100 people. Together with our donors and shoppers, we are “making good happen” in San Diego County. Cossio is marketing director at Goodwill San Diego. She lives in Alpine.