Goodwill opens no-contact donation centers to meet public and environmental need
April 14, 2020
Responding to the needs of the public, Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania has opened “no-contact” self-service donation areas at each of their 27 southwestern Pennsylvania store locations. The donation centers are open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Because of the large amount of donations being left unattended at closed Goodwill donations sites, Goodwill developed a “no contact” donation center that is consistent with Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s social distance guidelines.
The accumulation of donations outside Goodwill donation centers caused health and safety issues for the community and Goodwill team members needing to clean up donations ruined by inclement weather. The nonprofit organization received approval from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to operate the donation centers.
Previously, Goodwill announced it was asking donors to hold donations during COVID-19 mitigation directives, as Goodwill’s stores and donation centers in Southwestern Pennsylvania were closed.
“We know that many people are doing their spring cleaning while at home during the COVID-19 situation,” said Mike Smith, president/CEO of Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania. “We know people need an outlet for all of the merchandise they have accumulated, and we don’t want community donations to end up in the trash. Having our donation centers available helps alleviate unintended health and safety consequences, as well as hurting our environment by filling landfills with material that could be reused.”
People donating merchandise can drive up to a self-service area located outside the Goodwill store, and place items in specially marked bins or donation areas. After donations are dropped off they will be moved to quarantined areas within the Goodwill stores. A QR code which can be scanned is also posted at the donation site to request a donation receipt.
More than 60% of Goodwill’s revenue is generated through donations sold at its area thrift stores. The stores provide unrestricted revenue for the organization’s mission to provide job training and education for people with barriers to employment.
Vulnerable populations served by Goodwill include people with disabilities, people with economic disadvantages and people re-entering society after incarceration. The organization expects an increased need for Goodwill’s employment services for people who have lost jobs due to the crisis looking to get back into the workforce.
A list of all Goodwill donation centers can be found at http://www.goodwillswpa.org/donate-goods.