Goodwill to limit donation sites in response to coronavirus pandemic

Reporter: Sydney Persing
Published: Updated:
Credit: WINK News.

The way you donate is changing as Goodwill will begin limiting its donation sites starting Sunday in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

This could pose a problem for the growing number of people in need here in Southwest Florida.

Goodwill is asking for your donations and needs your support now more than ever—but not like this. People are leaving items outside and unattended, which is not safe for people or the items. This is the exact thing they want to avoid.

This is just one new challenge the organization is facing after it was forced to close all of its stores to shoppers.

Starting Sunday, Goodwill will also close 15 of its 25 donation sites here in SWFL.

The following sites will remain open for donation drop-off:

  • Charlotte County
    • Englewood – 501 Placida Rd.
    • Punta Gorda – 3415 Tamiami Trail
  • Lee County
    • McGregor – 15271 McGregor Blvd, Fort Myers
    • Estero – 10351 Corkscrew Commons Dr.
    • Arbor Town – (Attended Donation Center) – 10676 Colonial Blvd, Fort Myers
    • Plantation – 13500 Plantation Rd, Fort Myers
    • Pine Island – 2040 NE Pine Island Rd, Cape Coral
  • Collier County
    • Midway Plaza – (Attended Donation Center) – 4755 Tamiami Trail, Naples
    • Towne Center – 3759 E. Tamiami Trail
    • Heritage Bay – 8915 Sage Ave, Naples

Now without shoppers and with fewer people ready and able to contribute funds, Goodwill is looking at a lot fewer resources to work toward their mission and it will get harder for them to help people in need.

Our stores do fuel a lot of what we do and this is uncertain times right and having to close our stores is a big game-changer. We’re having to pivot, we’re having to make some changes, but we’re keeping our programs strong because on the other side of this, we want to be able to put people back to work,” said Carolyn Johnson, Goodwill Industries SWFL.

Goodwill and other charities are expecting a huge need in the coming weeks and months, so while you are staying at home, see what you have that you no longer need and can donate.

The CEO of United Way Worldwide says the impact of COVID-19 is “as if a natural disaster is hitting in slow motion just about every country on Earth.”

The Salvation Army is seeing a huge drop in monetary donations after canceling their in-person fundraisers.

The American Red Cross is facing a severe blood shortage after the cancelation of close to 3,000 blood drives. They are begging you—if you are healthy and able, please find a drive and go.

RELATED: Blood donation centers are not testing for COVID-19, but still need donations

The Girl Scouts are at a loss to vital finances after the group widely stopped in-person cookie sales. They’re doing their best to sell them online.

RELATED: Girl Scouts of Gulf Coast Florida donate unsold cookies to military members

Goodwill is also urging people to shop on their website. We asked Goodwill Southwest Florida what their message is to nonprofits, both big and small:

“I’d say hold on, keep to your mission, we’re all going to get on the other side of this,” Johnson said. “We ask the community to support your favorite nonprofit if you love donating, if you love shopping, we want you to keep doing it, Goodwill Industries, like I said, the donations are the lifeblood of what we do. Shopping online will help us move forward so that we can continue our programs and services do you know when we’ll get there.”

A message of hope.

The United Way says big charities likely will get through this; it’s smaller nonprofits like houses of worship and soup kitchens that they anticipate will really struggle to get back on their feet and they too really need your support.

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