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Goodwill offers ‘creative’ costumes for Halloween

By Staff | Oct 26, 2011

If you are still looking for a Halloween costume, the local Goodwill stores have costumes and those bits and pieces to make a creative costume, said Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida Director of Public Relations and Marketing Kirsten Britt O’Donnell.

“Halloween is always one of our busiest times for shopping. Other retailers look forward to Christmas time; we look forward to Halloween.”

They always order new merchandise for the holiday.

“Shopping has already started,” she said. “You can go to another costume store for a packed costume or use a little creativity and make your own costume at Goodwill. For example, you could by a pair of overalls, a flannel shirt and straw hat for about $10 and have most of a scarecrow costume.”

Teddy Bear Drive

For the last five years, Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida has been the star of the annual Festival Of Trees exhibit and Gala held in Fort Myers – the main recipient of the charity auction.

“This is the fifth year we are doing the Festival Of Trees, and every year we’ve had a teddy bear tree,” O’Donnell said. “The great thing about it is that this tree is always purchased at the auction, and the winner has always donated it back, so we can take it and the bears to a children’s hospital or another children’s charity. So the tree not only benefits Goodwill but also other organizations.”

Goodwill is now looking for local businesses to help collect the bears for the tree.

One longstanding business that has been part of this is Hogbody’s Bar & Grill in North Fort Myers.

Hogbody’s owner Theresa Raker believes it is a great cause, and has a “teddy bear drop-off station” at her restaurant. “This is important to me because this helps the kids at Christmas,” Raker said.

That businesses’ hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For information, go to hogbodys.net or call 543-8800.

Goodwill Industries also is looking for other area businesses to do the bear drive, said O’Donnell. “We are looking for brand new teddy bears for the children, to make sure we are not compromising their immune systems.”

People can also donate a brand new bear bear directly to Goodwill. “People have heard about the drive and called us directly to donate.”

Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida operates 24 thrift stores throughout Southwest Florida. Donations of clothing and household items are re-sold to support programs for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment, including Job-Link career services, affordable housing, the Four Wheels for Work vehicle assistance program, the L.I.F.E. Academy charter school, and other programs and services.

For information on Goodwill Industries, stores or the drive, go to goodwillswfl.org or call 995-2106.