Goodwill stores receive a wide range of donations, but sometimes an item really stands out.
If an employee at the local Goodwill store detects something that looks unique, they send it to the Fort Worth e-commerce building. This is where Alex Juarez comes in.
Juarez, a Goodwill North Central Texas e-commerce processor, was sorting through trash cans of items from across the region when he came across âAir Raid,â a video game for the Atari 2600 console.
âIt caught my eye because it was unlike any of the other games – all the other games are usually black and have a sticker with the title,â he said. “This one didn’t have a title on it and it was blue and had a handle, so different.”
Not knowing exactly what he was watching, Juarez sent a photo of âAir Raidâ to his father, a big fan of Atari games.
âHe texted me back in all caps saying ‘you found an air raid’, that’s when I really started to research it,â Juarez said. “If he thinks it’s something, it’s probably something.”
As it turns out, the 1982 game in which players control an airship to defend a city is quite rare.
Men-A-Vision has released very few copies of the game, and only 13 are known to exist, according to Goodwill.
Goodwill lists donated items such as antiques, clothing and collectibles, on a online e-commerce site which pulls items from stores across the country. Sometimes they bundle multiple video games into one auction, but Air Raid was rare enough to stand alone.
They put the game up for auction for a week starting June 10, and on day one, the auction climbed to $ 1,000, Juarez said.
At the end of the week, the game sold for $ 10,590.79, making the copy of “Air Raid” the best-selling item, said Rosemary Cruz, vice president of donations and sales. retail at Goodwill North Central Texas.
“I thought it was only going for [$3,000] at most and therefore to see him go way beyond what I expected was really surprising, âsaid Juarez.
A previous copy of the cartridge set only sold on eBay in 2011 for $ 3,575, according to Goodwill.
Shay Dail Johnson, vice president of community engagement at Goodwill North Central Texas, said the auction can go a long way for Goodwill’s community programs.
Johnson said that for that amount, Goodwill could have someone participate in the STARS program – a one-year day program for adults with multiple or severe disabilities. It could also enroll 10 people in the E-Squared program, which helps people complete a high school diploma or equivalent while gaining work experience, or help 20 homeless North Texans. get vocational training and education.
“All sales that come not only from our physical stores, but also from our online stores, help advance our mission, which is to help people with disabilities and other barriers to employment gain maximum independence, and it’s really everyone needs a chance, âshe said.
Telemundo 39 photographer Sergio Alvarado contributed to this reporting.