SARASOTA (WWSB) - A new show on Netflix aired this year called Tidying up with Marie Kondo.
Marie Kondo is a tidy guru who comes to the rescue by helping people tackle their clutter, all by asking one simple question: does this item spark joy?
Apparently for many, that answer is no. Goodwills across the country have been seeing an uptick in the amount of donations since this show aired and that includes the locations on the Suncoast.
Goodwill Manasota is a home for hidden treasures.
“It’s great stuff," said Donn Githens, Vice President of Operations for Goodwill Manasota. "You know, the people in this community, we’re really fortunate for the donations we receive.”
Over 50 million pounds of donations in 2018 came from just four counties alone and this year, they’re already breaking new barriers.
“Year-to-date, we’re up about 10 percent in donations above where we were last year,” Githens said.
Staff think it could be thanks to a new show on Netflix. Marie Kondo is encouraging people all across the country to live a more minimal lifestyle.
The impact is huge, but not just for the people who get to buy the second hand goods at a discounted price.
“13 years ago, I had an accident," said Leonzo, an employee of Manasota Goodwill.
The donations also give people like Leonzo a second chance at life.
“Thanksgiving night, I was a pedestrian coming out of my apartment complex and a drunk driver ran me over," Leonzo explained. "He dragged me for like five to six feet and from there I was mangled underneath the truck.”
In a coma for three months, in the hospital for one year and when Leonzo was finally discharged, he left without two organs.
“Just legally, totally darkness all the time," he said.
Legally blind, but it’s hard to tell by the way the man works.
“I was able to at least get the opportunity to get back into the work force from Goodwill reaching out and helping me, giving me the opportunity to come work,” said Leonzo.
He’s one of 10 percent of Goodwill Manasota’s workforce that has a significant disability. Another 80 percent has some type of self-identified barrier, to include past substance abuse, ex-offenders and economic challenges.
“They show up to work, they take care of business, they do the job they’ve been trained to do and they earn a paycheck and they’re part of a team,” explained Githens.
A team you might think about as you clean out your closet for this year’s spring cleaning.
A good portion of the money made from selling the donations goes to providing those team members with a paycheck, a life coach and much more.
The rest goes towards Goodwill’s veterans services program and its five free job connection offices that are located in Manatee, Sarasota, and DeSoto Counties.