08/29/2012 10:17 am ET Updated Oct 29, 2012

Goodwill Is Teaming Up to Clean Up Our Communities With Help From Family Circle

For the fourth year in a row, Goodwill has partnered with Family Circle magazine to collaborate on a back-to-school clothing donation drive. Family Circle is urging its 18 million readers to donate to Goodwill in the magazine's September issue, which is available on newsstands now.

Throughout the course of the partnership, Family Circle readers have donated about 20 million pounds of clothing. That's equivalent to the weight of 1,200 elephants. Those donations have helped our environment as they are diverted from landfills while helping to raise money to provide job-related services for the people in your community who need them most.

To help children visualize the impact of their donations during the back-to-school season, we've enhanced the donation drive with our Donation Match Game, giving children and their families the opportunity to learn how their donations impact their communities. We're hoping this aspect of Goodwill's Donate Movement will encourage families to donate responsibly and conscientiously.

While you're playing the game, remember that your used sweater, that pair of pants that never fit right, or that blouse you never wear can help Goodwill generate opportunities for people who have disabilities, those who lack education or job experience or anyone facing challenges to finding employment. Goodwill and Family Circle are committed to providing skills building and the right kind of supports to people with disabilities, veterans, youth who are at-risk, and anyone who needs employment assistance at a time when the unemployment rate is so high.

With your help, we can aid our neighbors in building a better future for themselves, their families and the entire community. With one million veterans who are unemployed and a jobless rate of about 14 percent among persons with disabilities, your donations are as crucial as ever as they help fund training programs in several areas including financial services, computer programming, hospitality, banking, retail, food service, manufacturing, as well as in emerging industries such as technology and health care.

So, however you approach your back-to-school shopping, please set aside some time to go through your clothing, and bring any gently used, outgrown or unneeded items you or your child no longer wear to Goodwill. While you're there, stop into the store and see what incredible, like-new finds you can score for your child's wardrobe. You'll be helping your community while getting ready for the first day of school.