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How to Turn a Bad Break-Up into a Good Deed this Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is an annual observance centered on romantic love, friendship and admiration. For all couples — able-bodied, interabled and disabled — this popular holiday can inevitably force twosomes to re-evaluate their relationship. For happy couples, Valentine’s Day can be a welcomed occasion to celebrate a special bond. Yet for unhappy couples, V-Day can make couples realize that the relationship has run its course. Ironically, the days leading up to and the day of Valentine’s Day are actually big break-up days. And, yes, break-ups can certainly be hard. But, according to a disability-affiliated nonprofit, turning a bad break-up into a good deed can be easy peasy!

Donating Bad Break-Up Baggage & Other Stuff

Did your ex leave some things behind? Maybe your former flame forgot to take the costume jewelry you gifted last Valentine’s Day, those his-and-hers matching coffee mugs, that not-so-fun board game that you played together on rainy days or that ugly Christmas sweater. If you don’t want to keep all of those unwanted relationship reminders lying around, Goodwill says its stores would love to have them! That means you don’t have to add more junk to the landfills by trashing your ex’s stuff. Rather, donate the unwanted baggage — literally and figuratively — and other gently-used items to Goodwill, an international chain thrift store that sells previously-owned clothing, furniture and household items at discounted prices.

Goodwill's "Donate Your Ex's Stuff" campaign

The company’s “Donate Your Ex’s Stuff” campaign is marketed annually around Valentine’s Day. Bryan Stewart, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Goodwill, tells AmeriDisability that many sites, such as the Goodwill of Southern Nevada for example, have promoted this themed drive since 2016.

“Goodwill is the perfect place to break-up with your stuff, including the things your ex gave you that no longer bring you joy,” Stewart declares. He says that Goodwill’s “Donate Your Ex’s Stuff” likely contributes to the uptick in donations that Goodwill stores experience in February each year. Still, he assures, campaign isn’t intended to motivate ex’s to engage in spiteful or unkind behaviors.

“We tend to focus on how decluttering your home and renewing your spirit can bring joy rather than purge anger,” Stewart explains.

Women communicating with ASL helps sort donated items

Goodwill attests that this break-up call to action can help former flames feel empowered, while simultaneously empowering the disability community. You see, giving to and/or shopping at the company’s 3,000+ retail stores and online auction ( helps to provide persons with disabilities and persons overcoming life challenges with various programs such as job training, employment placement, career counseling, financial education and other related services.

Goodwill has a longstanding commitment to operating an inclusive workplace staffed by employees with and without disabilities. “Impacting people living with disabilities has been a cornerstone of our programs of service since 1976,” Stewart says. And since tax season is also upon us, note that donations to Goodwill are tax deductible, with receipts available upon request.

While we wish everyone, including able-bodied, interabled and disabled couples and friends, a happy Valentine’s Day full of love… we hope it’s somewhat helpful to know that a bad break-up can turn into a good deed to support the disability community and beyond.

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Nancy DeVault
Nancy is the managing editor of AmeriDisability. She is an award-winning storyteller passionate about health and happiness.

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