Ah, Spring, beautiful spring. It has been a cold and snowy winter, and now the hope of spring and warmer weather. And, it's time to clean!

Millions of people are gearing up for the annual de-hibernation ritual known as spring cleaning, and this year, Goodwill is encouraging all of us to remember the power of donations when planning your annual spring cleaning.

This time of year offers the opportunity to de-clutter homes, give bygone belongings a fresh start, and help individuals in need of work find a fresh start too. By donating clothing and household goods to Goodwill, consumers can ensure their used items get diverted from landfills, and help fund job training and placement programs.

Courtesy Goodwill

Goodwill uses the revenues from its retail stores to fund programs for job seekers, including youth, seniors, veterans and military families, people with disabilities, and others with specialized needs. In 2013 alone, Goodwill helped more than 9.8 million people train for careers in diverse sectors such as banking, technology and health care, just to name a few, and provided support services to help them land jobs and excel in their careers. Hundreds have been helped right here in West Michigan.

So, when you're spring cleaning, don't forget to donate. Through the revenue generated from the sale of donations, a person actively seeking work can get a fresh start through assistance in writing résumés, job interview practice and access to job leads with leading employers.

Lorie Marrero, best-selling author of The Clutter Diet and contributing editor to Woman's Day Magazine says it best: "Cleaning out your closets and donating impacts a person's life, the planet and the community."

Want to make a difference?

Then visit http://locator.goodwill.org and type in Grand Rapids, Michigan to find the donation site nearest you.