coronavirus pandemic

Can You Safely Donate During the Pandemic?

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Being stuck at home for weeks has led more people to clean, declutter and donate. Organizations like Goodwill have taken notice. Goodwill says while the actual number of donations year-to-year is down, the flow of donations with store closures has left them with a very large stockpile and more inventory in stores.

NBC 6’s Sheli Muñiz spoke to Goodwill CEO, David Landsberg, about what people can expect and if our items are safe to donate.

“We have been taking donations throughout the COVID crisis at our attended donation centers, but we’re happy to report that this week, we have all 36 stores open that are also taking donations,” Landsberg told NBC 6.

Goodwill says the items donated go through a quarantine phase.

“We’ve made sure that our donation collection folks have the right PPE on when they take the donations and set [the items] aside to our warehouse for a number of days before bringing them into the stores,” Landsberg said.

NBC 6: Have you noticed a spike in donations since the pandemic began and people are no longer putting off cleaning out their closets? 

Landsberg: We have. The silver lining of people being at home is that they’ve had more time to clean and, of course, we're very happy that they’ve made Goodwill the beneficiary of that. It leaves us with a lot more inventory in the stores than before the pandemic, and I think there's an awful lot for the customer to find in Goodwill stores.

NBC 6: What can people expect when they come into the stores now that they are open and when donating items?

Landsberg: So, thank you for asking that. All of our employees are wearing PPE, we’ve equipped every cashier and check out stations with Plexiglass shield, spacing marks in the store, 50% capacity, additionally, customers wear masks, temperature checks, and safe distancing in their shopping which really shouldn’t be a problem as we ramp back up right now.

Visit Goodwill Industries of South Florida for more information and for your nearest donation center.

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