Goodwill of North Georgia, which encompasses 65 stores and 45 counties, is once again accepting donations.
On April 18, the nonprofit stopped taking donations after receiving an overwhelming influx of goods.
Tenee Hawkins, Goodwill of North Georgia’s director of public relations, said by reopening all locations on May 13, the natural process of restocking and selling treasures has fallen back into place.
“So far, we’ve seen a nice balance in terms of folks shopping and people donating items,” Hawkins said. “As long as that cycle continues and space is available, we’re in a really good place.”
All of Goodwill’s stores and donation centers offer contactless donations to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. People can remain in their cars and pop their trunks, and an employee will take the items and leave a receipt.
Hawkins said Goodwill’s staff sets aside the donations for at least 24 hours before taking them to the sales floor. At this time, jewelry, sunglasses and other “high-touch” items won’t be available at the stores.
Now that Goodwill is welcoming customers, Hawkins said certain protocols have been put in place to encourage safe practices. The lines at the cash registers have designated spots for people to stand 6 feet apart. All carts are regularly sanitized, and plexiglass shields are in place to separate cashiers from customers.
“We want people to come shop and donate,” Hawkins said. “We want everyone to know that our places are safe to work and shop at.”
Goodwill relies on sales from donations to fund its efforts of helping North Georgians who are out of work. Its career centers have reopened, which help provide training and job resources.
“Right now job losses are at a record high, not only in North Georgia, but throughout the nation,” Hawkins said. “We want to use those donations to fuel our mission to put people to work.”
Goodwill of North Georgia’s locations, including the store and career center in Oakwood, are open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.