BUFFALO, N.Y. — When the coronavirus pandemic first struck, Goodwill of WNY had to close all of its stores and donation centers. Now, they're working on their safety plan to be able to reopen in Phase 2 of New York State's plan.
When that happens, Goodwill will be limiting occupancy to practice social distancing in its Western New York stores. All staff and shoppers will be required to wear masks, and all staff members will get temperature checks when they arrive to their shifts.
Staff members have been cleaning and sanitizing the stores as they prepare to re-open. They also want to refresh their inventory for shoppers, which means they'll need donations from the community. Goodwill hasn't been able to accept them since the shutdown.
Marketing and Community Relations Manager Linda Maraszek said they're expecting a lot to come in, because they know that many people have spent the last few months at home cleaning and organizing. She said they will have two no-contact donation options.
"We know that people have been so eager to come out and donate and we so appreciate that because we rely on those donations," Maraszek told 2 On Your Side. "People can either pull up to one of our attended donation centers and simply pop the trunk. We'll do the rest. We'll take those donations from the people, or they can choose to self-serve and put the donations in a bin that will be provided by the attendant."
Maraszek said when donating, Goodwill asks the community to be mindful. The most in-demand items are gently used clothing and household items that will sell in their stores. There are many items Goodwill is unable to accept. For a full list, click here.