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About the project: Found Through Abandonment is a collection of mugs found at Goodwill in June of 2012. Each mug has a story and the following pages are how they ended at the Goodwill they were found in. The following people and events are fictional, but just as equally real.

Christmas Mugs It was the perfect gift for her daughter Karen. Shelly saw the cat mug immediately. It was almost Christmas and she had waited till the last second to go Christmas shopping. “She’ll love it!” Shelly thought, and placed it her cart. After getting her one more present she left the store. It was Christmas day and Karen’s mother was late. She hoped her mom would hurry; Karen was excited to give her the present she got her. When she finally arrived they exchanged their gifts. “Oh mom it’s adorable.” She laughs; “You’re going to love your first gift then!” Karen walks into the kitchen and adds it to the other mugs and packs of hot cocoa. “Oh honey it’s so cute! Oh I love reindeer! Aw, Merry Christmas, sweetie. Now open your next present!” “Merry Christmas! Oh yeah, here’s your other gift.” They laugh as they continue unwrapping their presents. Two months later, mugs untouched, Karen moves into a new place with her fiancé and donates her unwanted dishware to goodwill, and her mother, inspired by her daughter, donates her unused things as well.


“What? Peanuts and Life Savers?” “They’re from the same company, stupid.” Jamie laughs as she picks up the mug. She turns it over in her hands. “Let’s get it.” “What? Why?” Aiden didn’t understand Jamie; she was too spontaneous for him. It wasn’t good for his wallet. “Why not? It’s cute, you would use it wouldn’t you?” Jamie didn’t understand why Aiden never took any chances. “I am not made of money, Jamie. We’ve only been dating a week and I’m already exhausted.” “Just get the mug, Aiden, please?” Now she wanted it. It wasn’t just a mug anymore. It was a symbol of how much none of it mattered. “Who cares about money when you could have this sweet peanut life saver mug?” “Whatever, let’s go.” Aiden sighs. If she wanted the mug she could have it, he didn’t care. When they got back to Aiden’s house, Jamie walks into the kitchen and washes the mug. “There, beautiful.” “I still don’t know why you made me buy it. it’s not even that cool.” “Aiden, it’s not about it being cool. It’s about not caring so much about stupid stuff. Besides, it’ll remind me of how dim witted you can be.” Jamie was just joking, but Aiden was not the joking kind. “Money is not stupid, and neither am I! That’s it, I can’t take you anymore! I’m exhausted and I don’t even understand you half the time!” “That’s why you get to know people Aiden! Because they aren’t exactly like you!” Jamie grabs her coat and heads towards the door, mug in hand. “This is over Aiden, I exhaust you? Please, you exhaust me.” On the way home Jamie drops the mug into a free box that makes it’s way to goodwill.

Growing Old Riss’s mom Lauren sets the mug on the desk. “Ooooh, what is this?” “A new mug for you collection, silly. They’re promoting the movie, and they gave us some at work. I know you love the musical so thought you might want it.” “Wah, I love it! Les Misérables is the best, thank you!” Riss hugs her mom and kisses her cheek. “No problem sweetheart, I’m going to start dinner.” Lauren heads into the kitchen to make spaghetti and hears the clinking of Riss taking out her mugs. Lauren used to have a collection, but gave them to her 13 year old when she became interested. Just the other day, Riss had gotten a cute flower mug from a neighbor down the street and jumped with joy, she ran home to wash it and placed it carefully in her box. She knew Riss would grow out of it one day, but for now it was sweet to see her so interested in something. The next day, Riss came into the kitchen with a box. “Hey mom?” “Yeah, hon? Lauren turns and sees the box on the table. She pours her coffee and sits down across from her daughter. “What’s up?” “I decided I don’t want to collect mugs anymore, I want to give them back to you. I took a few of my favorites but… I realize that it’s super lame to get excited over cups, you know?” “Oh baby, if you want to get excited over cups, you can, no one has the right to judge for that.” “Whatever, it doesn’t matter. Do you want them or not?” Lauren stared at her daughter. How did this happen? Just last night she was so excited, or was she? “If you don’t want them, you can give them away.” Lauren gets up and pours out her coffee. “I got to get to work, are you ready yet?” “Yeah mom, let me get my bag…”

The Jitters

Charlie’s best friend Colleen’s first high school piano recital was just a week away and he was so excited for her. He had to get the perfect gift so that she wouldn’t be so nervous when she got up there. Earlier that month, he had had tried to draw Coleen in front of a grand piano, but wasn’t very happy with it; not enough to give it to her. He wanted to get her something she could keep and use, not a picture. His mother found the picture on his desk. “Were you going to give this to Coleen after she performs?” She asks cheerily. “No, I don’t think so… what’s she going to do with a picture?” Charlie looked discouraged, but his mother knew just what to do. There was a shop down the street that made mugs for people. She made a copy of the picture and headed to the shop. “Hi there, I was wondering if you could put this picture on a mug?” “Yes of course, it’ll take a while though, about two weeks. We are back ordered several days.” “Two weeks? Well I suppose I could pick it up later then… her recital is in a week.” “We will hold it for one week, and then we give it away.” “Alright! How much?” But by then, Charlie had got the perfect gift. A necklace with Coleen’s initials engraved into a golden piano. His mother loved it and when the recital came around, Coleen did great. But Charlie’s mom was so excited about how well she did and was so wrapped up in work that she never picked up the mug and never mentioned it to her son.

Goodwill: Found Through Abandonment  
Goodwill: Found Through Abandonment  

Found Through Abandonment is a collection of mugs found at Goodwill in June of 2012. Each mug has a story and the following pages are how th...