‘No Touch Donation Centers’ will open at select Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio, Inc. (“Goodwill”) locations beginning Saturday, April 11, 2020.
The donation centers will serve as a drop off for PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) as well as Goodwill donations of clothing and housewares during the COVID-19 crisis.
“Goodwill donation centers serve as a convenient location to collect PPE from the local communities and then provide those supplies to area hospitals and assisted living facilities,” explained President and CEO Anne Richards. “We have set up a system that allows donors to drop off clothing, housewares to Goodwill, along with much needed PPE in a safe environment.”
The ‘no touch’ donation centers will have designated bins outside of the facility for donors to use. Once donations are received, no material will be handled or sorted for 72 hours. Goodwill staff will be required to wear necessary safety equipment when handling these donations.
In compliance with the Stay At Home orders by the Director of the Department of Health, Dr. Amy Acton, no Goodwill stores are open at this time. These same orders allow for Goodwill donation centers to manage materials donated at their facilities under Section 9, 12, 13 and 14, primarily related to recycling and sanitation concerns.
Since closing its stores and donation centers, Goodwill has made great efforts to encourage residents to hold onto donations. Despite that messaging, there has been widespread issues with dumping at the 23 area stores and donation centers.
“When our stores and donation centers are closed, it is illegal to leave any donations at these facilities and is considered ‘dumping’ in the eyes of the law,” explained Vice President of Marketing and Development Maureen Ater. “We cherish our donations and desperately need these items to sell and fund our outreach programs. When donations are left at an unattended center, though, the donations can be exposed to weather and trespassers who have sometimes stolen these much-needed donations.”
Seven locations will be open to accept donations:
- Strongsville, 16160 Pearl Rd in Strongsville, Ohio (will not open until 4/13/20)
- Painesville, 2175 Mentor Ave in Painesville, Ohio
- Mayfield Heights, 6605 Mayfield Road in Mayfield Heights, Ohio
- North Olmsted, 23100 Lorain Rd in North Olmsted, Ohio
- North Canton, 1230 N Main Street in North Canton, Ohio
- Jackson Township/Foxboro Plaza, 7257 Fulton Dr NW in Canton, Ohio
- Canton/West Tuscarawas, 4510 W Tuscarawas St in Canton, Ohio
These centers will be open 10am to 6pm, Monday through Sunday. Centers will be closed on Easter, and the Strongsville location will not be able to open until Monday (4/13/20).
Donors are asked to not unload their donations while another donor is unloading their items. Instead, donors are requested to wait in their car until others are finished and have pulled away. Goodwill staff will not be assisting with the unloading of materials from vehicles and cannot assist with larger pieces. Donors are encouraged to hold onto large pieces until a time when Goodwill staff can better assist. No donors will be permitted into the donation center or store at any time. There is no home pickup service available for donations. Receipts for donations given at the ‘no touch’ donation enters can be secured by contacting Goodwill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We truly appreciate the support of our donors and shoppers during this very difficult time,” said Richards. “We welcome a return to normalcy and hope to reopen our doors to staff and the community soon!”
Goodwill stores were closed on March 20. At that time, nearly 700 of its staff members were temporarily laid off. The network of 23 thrift stores are the primary revenue source to fund 27 different mission and outreach programs in the 10 counties served by the agency. Goodwill provides job training and development to people with disabilities and other barriers to employment, parenting programs, rape crisis services, emergency vouchers for families in need and much more. Many of Goodwill’s services have continued during the crisis despite the lack of revenue.