Goodwill stores still taking donations though they’re not open yet

Although Goodwill stores aren’t open, they’re still taking donations — during certain hours — and serving clients.

“During donation hours, folks can make donations without interacting with other people,” said Michael Flannery, spokesman for Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries. “They just place the items inside these bins and then head on home with our sincere thanks.”

But it’s important that people drop off their items only during designated hours, he said.

Those hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. five days of the week: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Goodwill asks that people not drop off items on Tuesdays or Thursdays, or after 6 p.m., because “if the stuff is left out and gets wet, there’s a good chance we can’t use it,” Flannery said. “And we want to be able to use whatever somebody donates to us.”

With Ohioans confined to their homes to deter the spread of the novel coronavirus, Rumpke spokeswoman Molly Yeager Broadwater last week told this media outlet Butler County residents have been leaving 20 percent more trash than usual at the curb for trash collectors to pick up.

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Fairfield Twp. resident Diana Burlew was happy to learn last week that Goodwill stores were accepting donations. She delivered three carloads worth of donations over the weekend to the donation center on Liberty-Fairfield Road.

Many others had done the same thing.

A man working at the facility “was saying they need to send a truck more often to get their stuff because he was overrun with so many donations,” Burlew said.

“When they’re organized and open again, they’re going to have a lot of stuff in their stores, because people are donating,” she said.

While the stores are closed, “we still have hundreds of people working,” Flannery said. “Goodwill isn’t here for stores. We use the money from the stores to help people get jobs — people with disabilities like Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, homeless veterans.”

“So we have job coaches who are still going to the job with somebody with a disability or a vet to make sure everything is OK and the training is going along well, as well as looking for jobs for people,” he said. “That still continues.”

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Goodwill will reopen stores “as soon as we can,” Flannery said. “We have been spending this time deep-disinfecting the stores, setting up social distancing markers, installing sneeze guards and preparing to fit whatever the stipulations are that the governor decides.

“We’re working just to get ready to make sure everybody is safe coming back to goodwill.” About 60 percent of Goodwill’s income comes from the stores.

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